September Road: So your county won a round one qualifier game – don’t get too excited
And the day Tipperary called on a few supporters to help play Kilkenny in championship hurling in Kilkenny
The ‘prize’ for Fermanagh winning their round one clash with Westmeath is an away meeting with Cavan, who already beat them in Enniskillen. Down will also have a repeat clash with Derry. Perhaps it is time to keep repeat pairings apart? The round two draw was: Clare v Laois; Derry v Down; Leitrim v Armagh; Roscommon v Tyrone; Galway v Waterford; Longford v Wexford; Cavan v Fermanagh; Kildare v Louth.
At the weekend, a quarter of the teams that entered the 2013 senior football championship left the rest of the summer free for other pursuits.
Another quarter – Laois, Tyrone, Louth, Fermanagh, Longford, Galway, Armagh and Derry – have, at the very least, one more weekend of football in front of them.
But how far can they go?
2008 was the final year of the crazy format that excluded Division Four league teams from the championship qualifiers (if that system still existed Leitrim’s season would be now over).
So we looked at the four seasons since then to get an inkling of where this year’s round one winners can go.
The results are not encouraging for the weekend’s round one winners.
Tradition suggests more than half will fall at the next hurdle.
2009-12 SFC Qualifier Round One Winners
32 winners in 4 years – where they subsequently fell . . .
Round 2 – 18 fallers: Longford (4), Wicklow (2), Cavan (2), Tipperary (2), Roscommon, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, London, Derry, Monaghan, Wexford.
Round 3 – 7 fallers: Antrim (2) Meath, Armagh, Wexford, Offaly, Down.
Round 4 – 3 fallers: Tipperary, Down, Wicklow.
All-Ireland Quarter-finals – 2 fallers: Laois, Donegal.
All-Ireland Semi-finals – 2 fallers: Kildare, Meath.
WHEN THE DAY OF THE WEEK REALLY MEANT SOMETHING
There was a lot of hot air about last Friday night’s match between Laois and Carlow. But what if it had been arranged for Thursday?
The upcoming hurling clash between Kilkenny and Tipperary is fixed for Nowlan Park in Kilkenny city next Saturday evening. And Kilkenny have an awesome record at Nowlan Park, in all grades and competitions – bar ones involving a football.
They have hosted Tipperary in the senior hurling championship before.
The very first All-Ireland hurling semi-final took place in Urlingford on October 27th, 1887. The game was on a Thursday, because when the teams met in Clonmel the previous Sunday, some club games were in progress.
Hard as it is to believe now, the clubs, literally, held their ground, and Kilkenny and Tipperary officials had to hastily rearrange the clash for the following Thursday.
On the day in Urlingford there was more trouble, when Tipperary were forced to call on some supporters to tog out after the home side objected to several of the visitors’ players. This is unlikely to happen at Nowlan Park this Saturday. Tipperary won that first encounter by the way.
The number of senior hurling championship matches Kilkenny have played on home soil – one in Urlingford, six in St James’ Park in Kilkenny city, and 20 in Nowlan Park (the last back in the days when Kilkenny could overrun Dublin, 2003).
APPY DAYS STREAMING AT THE TV
It wasn’t RTÉ’s fault that the Kilkenny-Dublin replay wasn’t shown live on TV, but that didn’t stop the station taking flak from hurling fans.