A new group format will be the order of the day for this year’s Galway senior football championship with three teams set to be relegated from the premier grade to intermediate at the end of the season.
The move, follows a recommendation by a special Galway Football Committee, established to take a fresh look at the running of the club championships in Galway.
The aim of this year’s ‘cull’ is to bring the number of senior teams in the county down from 20 to 18 (three down and one promoted from intermediate).
From 2019 on, the number of senior clubs will remain at 18, with a ‘two-up, two-down’ promotion/relegation arrangement in place.
The groups were drawn last week at the Claregalway Hotel with a seeding arrangement in place. The four seeded teams were last year’s county semi-finalists: Corofin, Mountbellew/Moylough, Annaghdown and Monivea-Abbeyknockmoy.
The main points of the new championship format for 2018 are:
■ The top two teams in each group will go through to the quarter-finals (no repeat fixtures between teams who have already met) with no play-offs envisaged in the new plan – teams finishing third in their group will be out of the championship but will be safe from relegation.
■ If teams are level on points, the first deciding factor will be the head-to-head result between the sides; the second will be the points difference; and the third will be the scoring average. (Play-offs can only occur if there are ‘walk-over’ results in the group: an unlikely scenario).
■ The bottom team in each group (4) are first into the relegation ‘pot’ and will be joined by two other teams. Those two teams will be the losers of play-off matches between the four teams finishing second-last in the groups. (The two winners of the play-offs between second-last teams are ‘safe’).
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.