Joe McDonagh players oppose removal of link to Liam MacCarthy competition
Players believe only winners should progress
Players from the 9 counties who have played in the Joe McDonagh Cup since it came into existence have voiced their strong opposition to Motion 1 to be considered at the GAA Special Congress at Croke Park tomorrow. If passed, the motion would see the removal of link between Joe McDonagh Cup and Liam MacCarthy All-Ireland series.
As things stand the Joe McDonagh finalists go on the play the third placed provincial finishers in the Liam MacCarthy preliminary quarter-finals.
Overall, 74% of respondents to Gaelic Players Association research oppose this motion. This breakdown per county is set out below.
Feedback from individual players included that the move would devalue the Joe McDonagh Cup, disincentivise teams who want to test themselves against the best teams in the country and cut Joe McDonagh Cup teams loose without any chance of closing the gap to their Liam MacCarthy Cup counterparts.
However, players would back the motion if only the Joe McDonagh Cup winners were to progress. 71% of respondents favor the approach of only the competition’s champions going on to a preliminary quarter-final.
Feedback from players indicates that they know how difficult it is for the runners up to compete having just been beaten in an All-Ireland competition.
GPA CEO Tom Parsons commented; “Players are very clear that they do not want to see a complete removal of the link between the two competitions. That is why I will be urging delegates to consider an amendment to the motion tomorrow and if that is not allowable then to vote against the motion.
“We’ve been given statistics quoting a sixteen-point average winning margin in these preliminary quarter-finals. However, we can’t forget the Laois win in 2019 and the fact Carlow were just 3 points down after sixty-four minutes of their game last year.
“Furthermore, if we look at just the Joe McDonagh Cup winners and their performances against Leinster opposition in the preliminary quarter-finals, it’s one win and one defeat.
“The argument can be made that the preliminary quarter-finals have done nothing for the development of hurling. If that is the reason for supporting this motion, I would ask what does this motion do for the development of hurling? The answer is nothing.”
Breakdown per county of players against the motion
- Antrim 90% against
- Carlow 84% against
- Down 80% against
- Laois 79% against
- Meath 70% against
- Offaly 70% against
- Kerry 66% against
- Kildare 57% against
- Westmeath 55% against