1-32 Power ranking of the most competitive hurling championships in Ireland
It's the debate that questions a club's pride and a county's pride.
From Tipperary to Antrim, they'll all tell you that no hurling championship is harder won than their own one. From Kilkenny, they'll hit you with facts that they've more strength in depth in theirs' than any other county.
"You might have won over there but it's a pure different ball game over here. Your lads wouldn't stand a chance."
The same goes for the football.
Kerry folk will say theirs' is the toughest of them all while Dublin lads will say that couldn't be possible.
The fact is that every single county championship in the country is difficult to win and while it's just natural for everybody to think that their county's set-up is the most hotly contested, some counties are more competitive than others.
To find out who's is the most competitive, we've gathered the statistics since 2000 and compiled a staggered table based on how every county's hurling champions have fared against the other county's best (since 2000) in their province and in the All-Ireland of the junior, intermediate and senior grades.
There are some catches though.
First of all, there's Galway.
Seeing as Galway are out on their own in that they don't compete in a province, they require some special treatment. This isn't our fault.
So, here's how we're going to deal with Galway. For making it to an All-Ireland final, in any grade, they'll get one point less than the other counties do for wining their province. So that makes it seven points for a senior final win instead of the normal five, as well as two for a senior final loss, to make up for the imbalance that would have arisen in provincial points.
We reckon this is the fairest way to do it because, while beating another province's rep in a semi-final is a fair achievement, it's not as hard earned as winning that province was. That's why it's worth one point less.
Then, there's Ulster and Connacht.
Leinster and Munster are more competitive than Ulster and Connacht, that's just a fact. Ulster clubs have only twice won All-Irelands, Connacht clubs outside of Galway have never won an All-Ireland club.
So for that reason, winners in Ulster and Connacht receive less points.
Here is the overall points system in operation.
Point system for All-Ireland wins (relevant for every county)
Senior = Five points
Inter = Three points
Junior = Two points
Point system for Leinster and Munster championships
Leinster and Munster win
Senior = Three points
Inter = Two points
Junior = One point
Point system for Galway senior championship
Senior = Seven points
Inter = Four points
Junior = Two points
All-Ireland final appearance (equivalent to a provincial win for them)
Senior = Two points
Point system for Ulster and Connacht
Senior (Ulster only) = Two points
Intermediate = One point
Junior = Half a point
1 Kilkenny - 118
(Four All-Ireland senior, ten Leinster senior, six All-Ireland inter, eleven Leinster intermediate, seven All-Ireland junior, fourteen Leinster junior)
2 Galway - 65.5
(Eight All-Ireland senior wins, four All-Ireland senior final losses, 13 Connacht intermediate wins, nine Connacht junior wins)
3 Cork - 59
(One All-Ireland senior win, three Munster senior wins, three All-Ireland intermediate wins, seven Munster intermediate wins, five All-Ireland junior wins, 12 Munster junior wins)
4 Antrim - 42.5
(Two All-Ireland senior wins, one All-Ireland intermediate win, one All-Ireland junior win, fifteen Ulster senior wins, ten Ulster intermediate wins, five Ulster junior wins)
5 Limerick - 27
(One All-Ireland senior win, five Munster senior wins, two Munster intermediate wins, one All-Ireland junior win, one Munster junior win)
6 Offaly - 26
(Two All-Ireland senior wins, five Leinster senior wins, one Leinster junior win)
7 Waterford - 24
(Five Munster senior wins, two Munster intermediate wins, one All-Ireland junior win, three Munster junior wins)
8 Tipperary - 20
(Four Munster senior wins, one All-Ireland intermediate win, two Munster intermediate wins, one Munster junior win)
9 Dublin - 16
(Two All-Ireland senior wins, two Leinster senior wins)
10 Clare - 13
(One Munster junior win, three Munster intermediate wins, two Munster senior wins)
11 Carlow - 6
(One Leinster senior win, one Leinster intermediate win, one Leinster junior win)
12 Westmeath - 6
(One All-Ireland intermediate club win, one Leinster intermediate club win, one Leinster junior club win)
13 Wexford - 5
(One Leinster senior win, two Leinster junior wins)
14 Down - 4.5
(Two Ulster senior wins, one Ulster junior final win)
15 Derry 4.5
(Two Ulster senior wins, one Ulster junior win)
16 Aramgh - 3
(Three Ulster intermediate wins)
17 Meath - 2 (Ahead of Kildare because they've been more competitive in Leinster)
(One Leinster intermediate club win)
18 Kildare - 2
(One Leinster intermediate win)
19 Sligo - 2 (ahead of Monaghan because they've been in more finals)
(Four Connacht junior wins)
20 Monaghan - 2
(Four Ulster junior wins)
21 Fermanagh - 1.5
(One Ulster intermediate final win, One Ulster junior final win)
22 Mayo - 1
(One Connacht intermediate win)
23 Donegal - 1
(Two Ulster junior final wins)
24 Tyrone - 0.5
(One Ulster junior final win)
25 Roscommon - 0.5
(One Connacht junior win)
26 Leitrim - 0.5
(One Connacht junior win)
27 Laois - 0
Lost one Leinster intermediate final, lost one Leinster senior final
28 Kerry - 0
Lost three Munster intermediate finals
29 Wicklow - 0
One Leinster intermediate final loss
30 Louth - 0
One Leinster junior final loss
31 Longford - 0
32 Cavan - 0
*Sidenote - The table may look harsh on Laois, Kerry and Wicklow, in particular, and there is a strong chance that the hurling clubs are stronger there they are in some of the Ulster and Connacht counties, but the bottom line is they haven't made it count to underline that point outside of their own counties, albeit against tougher opposition at times.
*Some counties may not have their counties set-up in an optimum manner in terms of winning intermediate and junior championships i.e, by having too many senior teams, but that's all relative.