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New Munster football championship format set for 2015 campaign

The decision was made tonight at a meeting in Limerick.

Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

THE MUNSTER COUNCIL have tonight approved a new format for their 2015 senior football championship.

The new system will see this season’s finalists Cork and Kerry receive a bye to the semi-final stage next year while Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford and Clare will enter an open draw for the two quarter-final ties.

The two winners of those quarter-final games will then enter an open draw for the semi-finals along with Cork and Kerry. The decision was taken tonight at a meeting in Limerick.

The two traditional heavyweights in the province are only seeded at the semi-final stage because they contested this year’s final. If the format was maintained and for example both Tipperary and Clare reached next year’s decider, then they would receive byes to the semi-final stage for 2016.

Last year’s decision to keep Cork and Kerry apart by seeding them in semi-finals provoked huge controversy. Players from Clare, Tipperary, Limerick and Waterford all subsequently boycotted the McGrath Cup while they also refused to make themselves available to represent Munster in the interprovincial football championships.

The structure this year did see both Tipperary and Clare benefit from respective quarter-final successes against Limerick and Waterford.  The pair went on to push Cork and Kerry extremely close in their semi-final ties. Tipperary came desperately close to defeating Cork before losing out 0-16 to 1-11 while Clare were beaten by 1-17 to 1-13 by Kerry.

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Fintan O'Toole

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