The numbers never lie

In the last hour, some poor sap running the GAA’s website got the news that Galway beat Tipperary by 4-23 to 1-14. He (or she) tapped the result into their computer and hit the publish button. Moments later, they find out that it was the other way around. She (or he) made the relevant change. No harm done, eh?

Oops. I’m acting the maggot here, this mistake is hardly a big deal and quickly corrected. But the reason I came upon this was because I was checking to see how the League was set up to deal with teams finishing level on points. Up until this point I’ve assumed that it would be done with points difference. However, it was made clear on RTÉ radio that any tie would be decided on the basis of the head-to-head results – Wexford, despite beating Cork and having a superior points difference to Offaly, are goosed unless they get a point in their last game against Tipperary. And it makes no difference to my earlier speculation about how things are going to end up. We need Wexford to get that point against Tipp.

It could make a difference to the footballers though  – the following table is, as far as I know, genuine:

Waterford have exactly the same points difference as Cavan. So if we draw with Louth in the final game and they lose to Tipperary, we’ll have the same amount of points with a superior points difference – and will go down. There’s nothing wrong with this. Everyone knows the rules beforehand and it’s matter of opinion as to which is the better system. It would be handy though if I was able to see in black and white that this was the case rather than having to assume by looking at the position of the respective teams. There’s a whacking great pdf on the GAA’s website about the structure of the All-Ireland championships. Would something similar for the League be so hard?

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