Kyle Hayes and Limerick can look forward to a second successive years in the top flight
SOME were crying foul at confirmation of the groupings for new-look 2020 Allianz Hurling League.
Worry not – Limerick did not draw the short straw, while they are certainly in what appears to be the stronger group
Division One expands to 12 teams next season – six in Group A and six in Group B.
All was predetermined – Limerick are in Group A as Division 1A table-toppers. The remainder of the group will be completed by sides finishing in the following places – 4, 5/6, 8, 9 and 12; ie Tipperary, Cork, Waterford, Galway and Westmeath.
Group B is Wexford, Clare, the loser of Kilkenny, Dublin, Laois and Carlow.
There is no doubting that Limerick's Group A is stronger but 2019 is yet to take shape and all can change.
Limerick were long enough outside the top flight in the league and last Saturday’s quarter final win over Laois demonstrated what little there is to learn from one-sided contests. With that in mind, there are four top ties to come next Spring and Westmeath have the Joe Quaid factor adding to that fixture.
The new-look groups are to run on a two year cycle so will be redrawn for 2022 and every two years thereafter based on the original formula.
Relegation is between the bottom side in each group, with the loser relegated and replaced by the winner of the Division 2A final.
The first placed team in each group advance directly to semi final with the second and third placed teams from each group to meet in crossover quarter finals.