Confusion among clubs over ‘split’

SOME confusion has arisen among clubs over league placings.

It concerns which section of their respective division they will be placed in following the ‘split’.

In the county league’s senior section, four teams now sit on a knife edge as to their final placing, namely Granemore, Sarsfields and Pearse Óg, who each have 16 points and Dromintee, who have 14.

The county board rules for deciding final positions use ‘head-to-head’ where two teams share the same total and ‘score difference’ where there are three or more teams involved.

The problem arising, however, is that Dromintee are awaiting the award of two league points following Crossmaglen’s failure to field on the final day of round one but, should they receive them, the ‘score difference’ rule will be affected by the fact that they have played one game less than the other teams around them.

The waters are muddied further by the fact that Armagh Harps and Pearse Óg are refixed to fulfill their fixture and, should the Ógs lose, they too will be involved in a scenario which could require four-way play offs to decide the finishing places.

The county board and their competitions bodies will be keen to get the decisions right in the first experimental year of the new divisions but, as all clubs seek to promote their own interests further, unforeseen loopholes could affect the scheduling of games.

Meanwhile, even those who would have been opposed to the new three divisional league structures would have to admit that, as far as the second division is concerned, the placings of the teams who have completed the first half could not have been any closer.

Although Éire Óg look destined to have secured their place in the second flight, the Pinebank side have missed out on finishing in the top half; they will, however, be in with a big shout of winning the Intermediate Division shield competition, should they finish in first or second place of the “bottom half”.

The top eight teams in division two have had a rare old tussle during the first half of the season and, although both Madden and Middletown are just out in front, closely behind them are St. Paul’s, Keady and St. Peter’s who are all on 18 points. Four teams share 17 points, namely Shane O’Neill’s, Mullaghbawn, Silverbridge and Grange