Cork are through to the All-Ireland quarter finals, after a massive victory against Westmeath in their preliminary quarter final this afternoon.
It is a game that John Meyler's side entered as massive favourites, and they were dominant from the outset. Going into halftime with a 0-24 to 0-7 lead, this game looked like it could be etched into the record books for all the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately, that would prove to be the case.
While Westmeath did manage to slow down Cork's scoring rate in the second half, the match would ultimately finish with a scoreline of 1-40 to 0-20.
With 40 points in a single game, Cork broke the record for the most white flags raised in a championship match.
— Pat Nolan (@pat_nolan) July 7, 2019
Not what we want to see at this late stage of the championship. Patrick Horgan was the top scorer for The Rebels on the day, notching 0-10.
With a 23-point difference between the sides, this ranks well below some of the largest wins in championship history. We will have to go all the way back to 1901 for that record, when Offaly would defeat Louth 10-23 to 0-0.
While this was not a defeat of historic proportions, it does cast questions about the current format of the championship.
Westmeath were forced to endure one week turnaround after their Joe McDonagh Cup final defeat to Laois, while Cork have had three weeks to prepare for this one. Considering the perceived gap in quality between the sides, and the difference in preparation time, a result like this always seemed like a possibility.
It is certainly unfair on Westmeath, who had to pick themselves up in such difficult circumstances. The last two weeks will certainly take the shine away from what has been a strong year for the county, which featured a Kehoe Cup win and promotion to Division 1A of the National Hurling League.
As the debate over the standing of the Joe McDonagh Cup within hurling rages on, this current format may be something the GAA need to consider moving forward.