Dubs legend Rock calls for 'B' championship with the final played on All-Ireland Sunday

The Dublin legend believes two championships would offer smaller counties a fairer chance.

Rock was speaking at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour.
Rock was speaking at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour.
Image: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN LEGEND BARNEY Rock has called on the GAA to introduce a second-tier football championship to help give weaker counties a ‘fairer’ chance.

The 1983 All-Ireland winner also suggested that the ‘B’ final would be more attractive to smaller counties if it took the traditional place of the minor match as the Croke Park curtain-raiser on All-Ireland final day.

The best way to address the divide between football’s traditional powerhouses and the weaker counties is an ongoing debate in the GAA, reflected again last Sunday as All-Ireland champions Dublin beat Division 4 side Wicklow by 23 points.

The Dubs’ average winning margin during the 2017 championship was over 12 points per game, with the other provinces also hosting their share of one-sided contests in recent seasons.

“I still think that maybe there should be a second tier,” Rock told The42 at the launch of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tour in Croke Park.

“If you had two 16s, the top 16 and the bottom 16, you could have two championships running together. You could have a situation where the bottom two teams this year [in the top tier] and the top two teams in the final [in the second tier]; their advantage is that they’re into the Sam Maguire next year, whereas the other two teams drop down.

“I think that wouldn’t be a bad idea, whichever way they do it. I think then that it will give the teams down in the second tier of it an opportunity to play and maybe get to an All-Ireland final.

“People don’t like [the terms] ‘A’ and ‘B’. There has to be a namesake because it will give them a fairer and better chance.”

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Rock also suggested that the second-tier final could be played on the same day as the All-Ireland final with the final of the U17 competition — which has replaced the traditional minor grade — better played on a smaller occasion.

“They could play that before an All Ireland semi-final,” he said.

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