Cork GAA: County board explain how teams will be paired in knockout stages

Cork GAA: County board explain how teams will be paired in knockout stages
Inniscarra's Sean O'Donoghue breaks from Blackrock's Ross Coleman during the Co-Op Superstores Cork PIHC at Ballinora. Scarra need to beat Castlelyons this weekend. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK GAA have clarified the rules ahead of the closing stages of this season's senior and intermediate football competitions.

The board will avoid repeat pairings from the group stages in the quarter-finals, though they will be permitted in the semi-finals. Teams will be ranked from one to six, seven and eight, depending on the competition, and the seeding will be based on where they finished in their section.

If clubs are set to meet again, the board has a formula in place to switch the match-ups.

Éire Óg's Diarmuid Dineen breaks his hurley in this challenge with Douglas' Richard Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Éire Óg's Diarmuid Dineen breaks his hurley in this challenge with Douglas' Richard Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

With four groups of four in the intermediate and lower intermediate hurling and football grades, it will be group winners against group runners-up in the quarter-finals.

At Premier Senior, the group winner with the best scoring difference will get a bye into the semi-finals. Currently, Nemo, Castlehaven and St Finbarr's are leading the way in football, with Sars, the Glen and Blackrock in pole position in hurling.

This is to allow for UCC, in hurling, and Duhallow, in football, to enter the quarter-finals where they'll be paired with the third best runner-ups from the round-robin.

UCC's Sean Desmond is tackled by Carbery's Kevin O'Driscoll. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
UCC's Sean Desmond is tackled by Carbery's Kevin O'Driscoll. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

In Senior A and Premier Intermediate hurling and football, there are 12 clubs, so the top two group winners move into the semi-finals. The third best group winner and the three runners-up from the groups enter the quarter-finals.

The final round of hurling games are this weekend, followed by the football, with the knockout stages beginning from September 11.

The Cork Board statement explained: 

"In order to avoid all doubt ahead of next weekend, this note is to provide detail on the cases in which a repeat pairing may be avoided in the quarter-finals of the County Championships in 2020.

"It will not be possible to avoid repeat pairings at the semi-final stage, in order to preserve the integrity of the seeding system.

Qualification to semi-finals/quarter-finals:

Two teams will progress from each group of four to the play-off stages. This will result in six teams qualifying for the play-off stages in most competitions*, with the two top group winners qualifying for the semi-finals and the remaining group winner and the three second-placed teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Teams (1-6) will be ranked as follows on completion of the group stages:

Top Group winner 

Second Group winner 

Third Group winner 

Top Group runner-up 

Second Group runner-up 

Third Group runner-up 

Quarter-finals: (a) 3 v 6, (b) 4 v 5 

Semi-finals: 1 v (b), 2 v (a) 

NEW: A repeat pairing is possible in the quarter-finals in (a) 3 v 6 above. If this arises 3 will instead play 5 and 4 will play 6.

* Modification to above: In the Premier Senior Hurling and Football Championships, only the top group winner will qualify for the semi-finals, with the remaining two group winners, the three second-placed teams and the divisions/colleges winner qualifying for the three quarter-finals.

Teams (1-6) will be ranked as follows on completion of the group stages:

Top Group winner 

Second Group winner 

Third Group winner 

Top Group runner-up 

Second Group runner-up 

Third Group runner up 

Quarter-finals: (a) 2 v 5, (b) 3 v 4, (c) 6 v Divisions/Colleges winner 

Semi-finals: 1 v (b), (a) v (c) 

NEW: A repeat pairing is possible in the quarter-finals in (a) 2 v 5 and (b) 3 v 4 above. If either scenario arises, then team 2 will instead play team 4, and team 3 will play team 5.

Ballincollig's Cian Dorgan breaks from Clonakilty's Dave Lowney and Cian O'Donoghue. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ballincollig's Cian Dorgan breaks from Clonakilty's Dave Lowney and Cian O'Donoghue. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

*Modification to above: In Intermediate A Football Championship there are four groups of four, so the top two from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, where group winners will play a group runner-up from another group.

Teams (1-8) will be ranked as follows on completion of the group stages:

Top Group winner 

Second Group winner 

Third Group winner 

Fourth Group winner 

Top Group runner-up 

Second Group runner-up 

Third Group runner up 

Fourth Group runner-up 

Quarter-finals: (a) 1 v 8, (b) 2 v 7, (c) 3 v 6, (d) 4 v 5 

Semi-finals: (a) v (d), (b) v (c) 

NEW: A repeat pairing is possible in all quarter-finals here. If a repeat pairing occurs, the second team in the fixture will move down to the next fixture on the list, with group winners playing group runners up in all cases. 

If a repeat pairing occurs in the last quarter-final (d) (i.e. 4v5), then team 3 plays team 5 and team 4 plays team 6.

Relegation: The relegation final will be a straight play-off between the two lowest-ranked teams (in terms of points won and scoring difference) amongst the three bottom-placed teams from the groups. There will be no round-robin.

*Modification to above: In the Intermediate A Hurling Championship, two teams will be relegated as per the format approved last year in order to facilitate the promotion of the 2021 County Junior A winners straight to Intermediate A. 

Therefore, a round-robin between the bottom teams in each group will be required in this case.

At the end of 2020, one team will be relegated from the new Lower Intermediate grade (fifth grade). However, the Junior A winners from 2020 will go straight to Intermediate A (fourth grade) along with Lower Intermediate winner (fifth grade), with two teams relegated from Intermediate A (fourth grade) to Lower Intermediate (fifth grade).

Castletownbere's Gary Murphy is brought down by Na Piarsaigh's Luke Murphy for a penalty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Castletownbere's Gary Murphy is brought down by Na Piarsaigh's Luke Murphy for a penalty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

*Modification to above (ii) In Intermediate A football Championship there are four groups of four, so the relegation final will be a straight play-off between the two lowest-ranked teams (in terms of points won and scoring difference) amongst the four bottom-placed teams from the groups.

Placings as per Rule 6.21 Placing within groups in terms of both qualification and relegations will be determined as per general rule, follows:

"If two teams are tied, it will be based on the head-to-head result if three or more teams are tied, it will be based on scoring difference. 

"Placing across groups will be determined by scoring difference."

More in this section

Sponsored Content

jerseywarslogosml
votetextheader

jerseysformpu
echolive

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more