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Biting Back: National League finals - give them a point

By Michael McHugh

Published 30/04/2015

Allianz Football League Division 3 Final, Croke Park, Dublin 25/4/2015
Armagh vs Fermanagh
Armagh's Andy Mallon is tackled by Niall Cassidy of Fermanagh
Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Allianz Football League Division 3 Final, Croke Park, Dublin 25/4/2015 Armagh vs Fermanagh Armagh's Andy Mallon is tackled by Niall Cassidy of Fermanagh Mandatory Credit ?INPHO/Cathal Noonan

I found myself watching Fermanagh v Armagh on Saturday — which is a tough penance at the best of times — and just realised the utter pointlessness of such a match.

Both teams were already promoted, so what were they playing for in an empty Croke Park?

Are Armagh going to put ‘2015 Division 3 champions’ right up there with their 14 Ulster titles on their honours list?

Over the past couple of days, however, a few people have argued this point with me. Players don’t get the chance to win finals with their counties all that often; Cathal Cregg, for instance, says he was delighted by winning a national title with Roscommon.

But is it more important than the promotion they achieved weeks earlier?

Isn’t there more to be said to keeping something tangible to play for at the end of the league?

Promotion/relegation play-offs in provincial venues around the country would have stirred massive interest, giving the counties involved something crucial to play for in their last game of the competition.

The League has been described as one of the few competitions in world sport that actually decreases in

importance as it goes on.

Why not at least attempt to make each match matter to the very last?

Belfast Telegraph

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