Round Robins and Back Doors
There was a time when clubs had one chance in the Championship, just the one bite at the cherry. Their only hope in defeat was to manufacture some sort of an objection inside three days, usually about some opposition player having been drafted in for the day. Indeed, several retired players now boast of having won several championships in different counties in the same year under a variety of names.
Such days are no more. More detailed newspaper reporting and photography, local radio, a more travelled population, attendance at third level colleges and what have you. Within a county, everybody in the GAA knows almost everybody, so a club would be chancing its arm very much with an import. Anyway social media would be hopping about the emergence of a brand new star.
The round robins and back doors are the new championship format, so clubs are no longer training for just one shot at success. The knock-out comes in the Quarter Finals and so we have four teams through for the Intermediate and Senior Semi Finals this weekend, with a few surprise packets included. This is what the Championship is all about.
The CCC has wisely fixed double headers for Saturday and Sunday so that clubs and supporters can watch the full action. The semi-finalists come from a broad geographical range, which should add greatly to the attendances.
It is a little contrary to history to have Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s in a fight to regain senior championship status and they will find nothing easy against a rejuvenated Ballinaglera, buoyed after their victory over favourites Eslin, while neighbours Drumkeerin and Dromahair will be anxious to get one over on the other, so there will be plenty of banter around Killargue in the run up to Sunday.
Aughawillan, a club that can always get the very best out of every team member, will be confident of just pipping surprise packet Allen Gaels, but only just. Most focus will be on the clash of the current county senior champions St. Mary’s against the power-house of the last decade or so, Glencar-Manorhamilton.
Last weekend’s All Ireland Semi-Finals showed what can happen in the heat of championship battle, so get along to PáircSeán Mac Diarmada on both Saturday and Sunday evenings and enjoy the action that will enfold. The weather is promised good, the sides are evenly balanced, so where else would you want to be?
Coiste Chontae Liatroma is very pleased at the championship attendances to date this year and appreciates the support shown by the followers of all the teams and by the public in general and looks forward to another exciting footballing weekend.
04-Sep-14 by Leitrim GAA