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GAA Explainer: How The 2023 Tailteann Cup Will Be Different To Last Year

9 July 2022; Kevin Maguire of Westmeath lifts the cup after the Tailteann Cup Final match between Cavan and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
By PJ Browne Updated
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The second season of the GAA's Tailteann Cup will be different to its first. This year, the second tier football championship will have a group stage. In 2022, it was a straight knockout tournament which had the opening three rounds split geographically.

How does the Tailteann Cup group stage work?

The draw for the 2023 Tailteann Cup group stage will take place after the provincial semi-finals.

It will feature the 16 teams which have not qualified for the Sam Maguire Cup, and - providing they do not reach the Connacht final - New York, who will enter the competition at the preliminary quarter-final stage.

In the group stage, teams will be drawn into four seeded groups of four teams each.

Seed 1 – The top four ranked eligible teams from the end of the Allianz Football Leagues
Seed 2 – The next four ranked teams
Seed 3 – The next four ranked teams
Seed 4 – The next four ranked teams

Teams will play three games in the Tailteann Cup group stage, one at home, one away, and one at a neutral venue.

The order of the games has already been determined:


Round 1: Seed 1 v Seed 3, Seed 2 v Seed 4 (May 13th and 14th)
Round 2: Seed 3 v Seed 2, Seed 4 v Seed 1 (May 20th and 21st)
Round 3: Seed 1 v Seed 2, Seed 3 v Seed 4 (June 3rd and 4th)

9 July 2022; Ronan Wallace, left, and Jamie Gonoud of Westmeath celebrate after their side's victory in the Tailteann Cup Final match between Cavan and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

What happens next in the Tailteann Cup?

The top team in each group goes straight through to the Tailteann Cup quarter-finals, while the second-placed teams go into the preliminary quarter-finals.

The three third-placed teams with the best records also go into the preliminary quarter-finals, while the third placed team with the worst record and all fourth placed teams will be eliminated from the championship.


The third-placed teams will be ranked by the following criteria: Total number of points; score difference; highest score for; highest goals for; lowest goals against; a playoff.


Tailteann Cup knockout stage

In the preliminary quarter-finals, which will be played on June 10/11, the second placed teams in each group will be drawn to face the best third-placed teams, along with New York (providing they do not each the Connacht final and so play for Sam Maguire). The second-placed teams will have home advantage, and ties - as will be the case for the quarter-finals and semi-finals - are subject to the avoidance of repeat pairings from the group stage.

In the quarter-finals, which will be played on June 17/18, the four group winners will play the winners of the preliminary quarter-final games. Group winners will have home advantage.

The Tailteann Cup semi-finals will be played on June 24/25 and the final on July 15/16. All games in the knockout phase will be played under winner on the day rules.


The Tailteann Cup champions will be guaranteed a place in the Sam Maguire Cup for the following season.

What happens if New York reach the Connacht final?

If New York reach the Connacht final, and so qualify to play in the group stages of the Sam Maguire Cup, the Tailteann Cup group stages will have 17 teams. There will be three groups of four teams and one group of five teams.

The third placed team in each of the four groups would go through to the preliminary quarter-finals, and play the four second-placed teams. The dates of the preliminary quarter-finals, quarter-finals and semi-finals would all be put back one week with no change to the date of the final.


19 June 2022; Luke Towey of Sligo is tackled by Killian Clarke of Cavan during the GAA Tailteann Cup Semi-Final match between Sligo and Cavan at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

What are the league rankings?

1. Mayo
2. Galway
3. Roscommon
4. Tyrone
5. Kerry
6. Monaghan
7. Dublin
8. Derry
9. Armagh
10. Donegal
11. Louth
12. Cork
13. Kildare
14. Meath
15. Cavan
16. Fermanagh


19 June 2022; Keith O'Neill of Offaly, 15, turns to celebrate after beating Westmeath goalkeeper Jason Daley for his side's first goal, in the 17th minute, during the GAA Tailteann Cup Semi-Final match between Westmeath and Offaly at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

17. Clare
18. Limerick
19. Down
20. Westmeath
21. Offaly
22. Antrim
23. Sligo
24. Wicklow
25. Longford
26. Tipperary
27. Laois
28. Wexford
29. Leitrim
30. Carlow
31. Waterford
32. London

Rankings are decided after promotions and relegations between the divisions have been applied. League final winners are ranked higher than the team they beat in their divisional decider.

See Also: 26-Man Matchday Championship Panels To Be Announced Publicly On Fridays

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