"It's like a form of football bullying" - Cavanagh questions provincial drubbings 1 month ago

"It's like a form of football bullying" - Cavanagh questions provincial drubbings

Leitrim had a good win over London but they were never going to beat Galway.

And that's just a fact.

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The squad's morale would have been high going into this Connacht semi-final, after a decent League campaign and a good start to the Championship but it's after taking one hell of a hit now. Which means that Leitrim are going into the Tailteann Cup - the biggest competition for them - on a downer and on the back of an absolute hiding.

It does Galway no good to beat Leitrim by 23 points and when you consider what's coming down the tracks, it doesn't do Leitrim any good either. Because, with the Tailteann Cup running off on a knock-out basis this year, you could hardly say that a game like this one has Leitrim primed for a season-definer.

It is important to note that, from next year on, the Tailteann Cup will be played on a round-robin basis but Andy Moran is thinking about this year, and speaking after the game, he asked why it's running off on a straight knock-out basis.

Speaking on The Sunday Game, and going back to our original point, Sean Cavanagh questioned the sense behind one sided fixtures like these.

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"I don't think we learned anything about either side. Really and truly, Galway were there to tick a box," he said of the Connacht semi-final.

"It's almost like a form of football bullying. I was down at Mayo v Leitrim in Castlebar last year and, while I don't want to be patronising to Leitrim, I feel sorry for them because they were 15 points down after maybe 20 minutes that day. They had very little hope that day and the same again today.

"It's not a one off. We saw Wexford take a tanking last week. Unfortunately, the provincial systems are always going to throw up these results, with giants playing against minnows."

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Cavanagh sees potential in the Tailteann Cup though and is backing it to give players from counties like Leitrim a proper summer championship.

"There are lots of brilliant players out there, who don't get the air-time. The International Rules used to be a great place for someone coming from a weaker county, to show that they can mix it with the best. You're hoping that we get to see that in the Tailteann Cup."

Alongside him, Colm Cooper was of the same opinion.

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"It's a waste of time for Galway, it's a waste of time for Leitrim. That's soul-destroying for Leitrim players, knowing you're not going to win, going to lose by 20 points. Where is the prospects from that?"

"Everyone's concern is the coverage that it gets. If it's given what it deserves, it can for sure be a success because it's surely a better prospect than the Connacht championship because days like this don't do anything for Leitrim."

We know the provincial councils are too powerful to allow it but is it time to leave the provincial championships behind?