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Calculators at the ready…here’s the Allianz hurling league permutations

The round-robin games conclude this weekend.

THE FIRST WEEKEND of March is closing in and it will bring a moment of judgement for hurling sides around the country as the Allianz hurling league round-robin series concludes.

pjimage (2) Plenty at stake for the competing hurling counties this weekend.

Round 5 matches are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, here’s how it is set up with places in the knockout stages at stake.

Division 1A and 1B

There are eight quarter-final spots up for grabs, split between the two divisions with the top four in each qualifying. Here’s the state of play in Division 1A and the current positions in Division 1B.

Limerick are the only side from Division 1A assured of a passage with the other five counties – Wexford, Kilkenny, Cork, Clare and Tipperary – all still in with a chance of nailing down a quarter-final place while Galway, Dublin and Waterford are already guaranteed berths from Division 1B.

Brian Cody Kilkenny hurling boss Brian Cody. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The last spot from 1B will be filled by Laois (3 points) or Carlow (2 points) in fourth place. Laois travel to face Dublin on Sunday while Carlow entertain Offaly.

It’s already determined that Offaly will be in the relegation play-off against Laois or Carlow with the losers dropping to Division 2A.

The quarter-final pairings will be:

  • 1st Division 1A v 4th Division 1B
  • 2nd Division 1A v 3rd Division 1B
  • 3rd Division 1A v 2nd Division 1B
  • 4th Division 1A v 1st Division 1B

The quarter-finals will be on a home or away basis, depending on how many home games a team has had in the regulation series. These take place on Sunday 10 March with the semi-finals at neutral venues on 16 March and the final pencilled in for 24 March.

John Kiely Limerick hurling manager John Kiely. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

With a league restructuring on the cards for 2020, the bottom two teams in 1A will play-off to determine their overall positions in the table with a view to next year. The bottom two sides in 1B will play-off with the loser relegated to Division 2A for next year.

Here’s the planned structure for the 2020 hurling league:

Division 1 – Group A

  • 1st placed team 2019 Division 1A
  • 4th placed team 2019 Division 1A
  • Winner of Division 1A relegation play-off
  • 2nd placed team 2019 Division 1B
  • 3rd placed team 2019 Division 1B
  • Promoted Division 2A team


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Division 1 – Group B

  • 2nd placed team 2019 Division 1A
  • 3rd placed team 2019 Division 1A
  • Loser of Division 1A relegation play-off
  • 1st placed team 2019 Division 1B
  • 4th placed team 2019 Division 1B
  • 5th placed team 2019 Division 1B

Division 2A

It’s already known that Westmeath (8 points) and Kerry (6 points) will contest the final. Antrim can draw level with Kerry if they beat London and Kerry lost to Meath but Kerry will win out on head-to-head due to their victory over Antrim in late January.

The winners of the final will be promoted to Division 1B while it looks like either London (0 points) or Mayo (1 point) will face the drop. They have away trips to Antrim and Westmeath respectively this weekend before then playing a re-arranged fixture against each other on Sunday 10 March. The bottom placed side in this division will be relegated.

Division 2B

Derry (8 points), Down and Wicklow (6 points each) are all still in with a shout of contesting the divisional final, where the winners will claim promotion. Derry entertain Wicklow on Sunday with Down away to Kildare. All three sides could end up on equal points if Wicklow and Down win. Scoring difference would then come into play, currently it stands as Derry (+26), Down (+26) and Wicklow (+12). 

Donegal face Warwickshire on Sunday with bottom teams pointless after four rounds, and already guaranteed to face each other in a relegation play-off to determine who drops to Division 3B next year.

Division 3A

Roscommon (8 points) are already through to the final with Armagh (6 points) in pole position to join them. Armagh are away to Tyrone (4 points) on Sunday with Monaghan (4 points) the other side in with a shout as they travel to take on Louth.

If three teams finish on six points scoring difference comes into play, if it’s two then head-to-head applies with Armagh already having convincingly defeated Monaghan. The bottom placed side will fall to the lower tier next year with Lancashire (0 points) and Louth (2 points) the teams in danger.

Division 3B

The top two sides will advance to the Division 3B decider and that is already set to be Sligo and Longford (both on 6 points apiece), and playing each other in the last round on Sunday. Fermanagh and Cavan are on two points with Leitrim bottom as they have lost all their games.

  • Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Laois, Carlow or Offaly could claim the last quarter-final place from Division 1B. This has now been corrected to Laois or Carlow.


Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.

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Fintan O'Toole

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