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Opinion: Time for the Limerick junior A hurling to move all-county - Jerome O'Connell

Opinion: Time for the Limerick junior hurling A to move all-county - Jerome O'Connell

Tournafulla celebrate their 2018 Limerick JAHC final victory over Killeedy

IT appears there could be two motions before December’s Annual Convention of Limerick GAA proposing that the county junior A hurling championship moves to an all-county competition.

At present the top three tiers of the club hurling championship are all-county – SHC, PIHC and IHC. Thirty two teams are catered for in those top three tiers with Na Piarsaigh the only club at present with two teams in this grouping.

For me, the time could be right for the Limerick JAHC to move all-county.

In 2019, 26 teams played junior A hurling championship – eight in the city division, six in the east division and 12 across the combined west-south division.

Sixteen of the teams were 100% authentic junior A hurling clubs with 10 the second team in their club.

The west and south were joined for the first time this season and it appears to have worked a treat with two groups of six teams playing out until five closely fought knockout games. Castletown-Ballyagran and Kilmallock have reached the county final – two of the three south teams in the championship.

So how about four groups of six teams for the 2020 all-county JAHC with the top team in each group into a quarter final and teams in second and third place into a preliminary quarter final game.

The bottom team in each group could be involved in a relegation play-off. That guarantees five games to all and six games to most with many novel pairings.

The junior A football championship is all-county for the last two years and while there were teething issues, the players appear to enjoy it more than the old divisional system.

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