GAA

Joe Brolly Amongst Angry Voices After Latest Inter-County Underage Hammering

Joe Brolly Amongst Angry Voices After Latest Inter-County Underage Hammering

For all of the talk about structures in the senior All-Ireland championships, there is perhaps an even bigger issues brewing in the underage competitions.

Massive scorelines are becoming ever more common in the underage provincial championships. The issue is that it is all too often only one team contributing to that.

We had another example last night.

Cork took on Waterford in the Munster Minor Football Championship, a game in which the Leesiders were huge favourites for victory.

They certainly lived up to that tag, leading by an astonishing 24 points at halftime. Their opponents did not manage to get a score on the board in the opening half.

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Unsurprisingly, this scoreline resulted in some strong reaction on social media.

Things did not got better for Waterford. While they would manage to tag on three points in the second period, the game would ultimately finish 5-28 to 0-3 in Cork's favour.

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That is a winning margin of 40 points.

This is not the only similar scoreline we have seen in underage competitions in recent times, with similar results seemingly rearing their ugly head every year.

The reaction after the final whistle was even stronger.

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The issue here seems to come down to the provincial championships.

By keeping the four traditional competitions, you ensure that some teams will be much stronger than others. That means scorelines like this are set to be more common as stronger counties widen the gap between themselves and the rest.

Having a tiered system, as they do in hurling, could be a way forward as it would allow teams to face opposition of their own level. No young player wants to train for months on end only to have their season ended by a 40-point hammering against a side they never had a chance of beating.

Of course, the presence of provincial councils means removing those competitions would be no easy task. Despite this, the GAA has a duty to to give every young inter-county player a fair crack at the whip.

They've been ignoring that responsibility for far too long.

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Gary Connaughton

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