Last year we saw a new look senior football championship.While it was devised with the best interests of football involved, in reality it never captured the imagination of players or supporters with small crowds attending games, and the late running of the competition did not do it any justice either.
It was no surprise to hear and see as 2017 went on that the clubs competing were not happy with it and calls for a change to be made were made in 2018.
The thinking caps of those with an interest in football (and hurling) were put to the test and what they came up with was a reversion to the championship we had a number of years ago, with three groups of four, but with a new twist to it this year.
Gaa football
The sides that reached last year’s semi-finals were all seeded. Stradbally, as winners were automatically placed into group one of this year’s competition.
Last year’s runners up, The Nire were placed in group two and the two beaten semi-finalists, Kilrossanty and An Rinn were placed into group three, with the other eight teams drawn into the three groups. The four teams in each group will play each other once, with the first two rounds of games scheduled to take place over the coming two weekends, with the final round of games scheduled to take place later in the year.
The three group winners along with the best second placed teams will all gain automatic qualification to the quarter finals of this year’s championship.
The other eight teams will remain in contention to win this year’s championship, something that would not have happened in previous years.
The eight teams that do not automatically reach the quarter finals will play each other in a knockout game to find four winners to play in the quarter finals.
The four sides that lose their opening knockout game will then play two relegation semi-finals, with the two losers competing in a relegation play off.
What this year’s championship means is that a side can finish fourth in their group of four in the round robin part of the championship and still go on and lift the Conway Cup, while it is possible that a team that finishes second in their group after the round robin part of the competition could find themselves relegated.