Muddle over final placings

FOLLOWERS of club football in Armagh are still in a muddle over the final placings in the All County division one table.

Although some clubs have been handed fixtures for the second half of the league campaign, which includes Clan na Gael’s game with Carrickcruppin which has been pencilled in for next Wednesday night, August 1, many supporters are still confused as to which teams will finally make up the top and bottom sections of the division.

At the start of this season, the Armagh CCC which governs club affairs in the county moved away from the traditional four divisional structure and instead implimented three divisions which, after a one way series of games, would split into two sections. The top half of eight teams would play off for a Division One Cup with the bottom eight teams competing for a Divisional Shield.

The recent problem, however, has arisen around the fact that Pearse Óg, Granemore and Sarsfields all finished on 16 points with an added twist arising following Crossmaglen’s failure to fulfil their last league fixture against Dromintee. If awarded the points Dromintee would also be on 16 points along with the aforementioned clubs. Crossmaglen have appealed any decision to award their South Armagh opponents the two league points and, if the Rangers are successful, they could yet play Dromintee.

Last night (Wednesday) one of the sides locked on the 16 points tally, Pearse Og, played Armagh Harps in a refixture and, if the Ógs lose, they along with Sarsfields and Granemore, could face a play off to decide which club features along with the other seven clubs in the top half.

Considering the new league structures are in their inaugural year, a lot of tweaks are expected to be required to streamline all aspects in forthcoming seasons but with the club championship just around the corner, should play offs eventually be required to complete final league standings, they could be put on the long finger until at least one round of championship games are complete.

The most simplistic scenario which could solve the mid-table log jam would be for Pearse Óg to defeat Armagh Harps in the midweek fixture, the Crossmaglen against Dromintee to be played with a win for the Rangers leaving Granemore’s head to head advantage putting them into the top half at the expense of Sarsfields.

In the meantime club managers will be attempting to keep their sides focused in the absence of meaningful games and the prospect of the championship pending.