Jimmy Barry-Murphy welcomes decision to persevere with hurling league format
Central Council decided Division One should be composed of two sections of six
Jimmy Barry-Murphy: “In the past couple of championships Limerick, Dublin and Clare proved that you can develop teams in a slightly less competitive environment.” Photograph: Inpho.
Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy has welcomed the decision of GAA’s Central Council to persevere with the current format of the national hurling league until at least 2016 although this will mean that the All-Ireland finalists will campaign in the lower Division One B next season.
“I didn’t like some of the comments suggesting that Cork were trying to gain an unfair advantage,” said Barry-Murphy whose team were relegated last season. He was referring to a previous proposal that Division One A be expanded to include Cork and Limerick.
“I said after we were relegated that I saw no reason why we couldn’t continue to develop in Division One B and that Cork teams in the past had won All-Irelands from a lower division.
“I hope I’m right on that but in the past couple of championships Limerick, Dublin and Clare proved that you can develop teams in a slightly less competitive environment. I hope we can do the same next year.
“I do think that Limerick were very badly treated when they won promotion (in 2011) and had it taken off them. Any changes should be played for on the field.”
Saturday’s meeting decided that Division One should be composed of two sections of six rather than seven, which dashed the hopes of Carlow and Westmeath who had hoped to be included in the top division. That vote was carried by just 19-17 with a number of abstentions.
The next vote was between the 2013 format, to which quarter-finals have been added, and a compromise that organised the division into two equal divisions of three bands with cross-fixtures between the bands. The status quo was preferred by 23-20.
At the special congress held in conjunction with Central Council, all five motions requiring players to be responsible for the compliance of their equipment – hurling helmets and mouth guards – with safety standards were passed.