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Westmeath hurling manager says Championship is "stacked against developing teams"

Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

06:15 7 Jul 2019


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Westmeath hurling manager Joe Quaid believes the hurling Championship is "stacked against developing teams" as his side exited the All-Ireland series to Cork in Mullingar on a scoreline of 1-40 to 20 points.

It's the second week in a row the Lake County have fallen to defeat after a loss in the Joe McDonagh Cup final against Laois in Croke Park.

Last week, Laois boss Eddie Brennan regretted the quick turnaround ahead of their preliminary quarter-final in the aftermath of their win.

Joe Quaid said after their Championship exit that he doesn't see much benefit to the current structure, "it's paying lip service to the Joe McDonagh team, to send them out seven days after playing a final.

"Basically, if they want to improve hurling with what I call the 'second-tier counties' they need to get a Leinster Championship with two groups of four in it - simple as that. You'll probably have three teams in it battling.

"Laois go up this year, go to the bookies - they're probably favourites to come back down. We go up, we're favourites to come back down. Carlow went up, they're coming back down. It's absolutely doing nobody any good.

"I took my hat off to Laois last week, they were superb hurlers. They've got a forward line that given time would match anything in the country. One year in the Leinster Championship isn't going to do them any good. This isn't bitterness on our behalf, we're not ready to go up to that level yet.

"If we had won last Sunday I'd be saying the same thing today. If they're serious about it, they need to break it into two groups of four."

Joe Quaid also spoke about the possibility of Kerry winning the Joe McDonagh Cup, "they have to go out the following week and play a preliminary quarter-final, and then they have to play the bottom team in Munster after that.

"It's stacked against developing teams. Will they ever get up? Who knows?"

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