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2023 Tailteann Cup - What happens next!

May 22, 2023 08:00 By Dave Hooper
2023 Tailteann Cup - What happens next!
8 July 2022; The Tailteann Cup ahead of the inaugural Tailteann Cup Senior Football Final between Cavan and Westmeath at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
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Dave Hooper takes a loook at what happens next in the 2023 Tailteann Cup with just one round of group games remaining and the knockout stage to begin

Just one round of group games remains in the 2023 Tailteann Cup, yet what happens next?

So let’s take a look at what could happen and how the final round of games on the June bank holiday weekend will shape things.

What we know

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17 teams entered the Tailteann cup with 16 team entering the group phase. New York enter in round two.

The 16 teams were divided into four groups of four and play each other once.

  • The Four group winner’s progress to the quarter-finals
  • The Four second placed team’s progress to the prelim-quarter-finals
  • The three best third placed team’s progress to the prelim-quarter-finals
  • New York enter the Tailteann Cup at the prelim-quarter-finals.
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Sounds a bit complicated, so we’ll look at this group by group and see what we can make of it.

Group 1

Pos Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Cavan 2 2 0 0 44 29 +15 4
2 Offaly 2 1 1 0 34 25 +9 3
3 Laois 2 0 1 1 31 40 -9 1
4 London 2 0 0 2 23 38 -15 0
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Remaining Fixtures: Cavan v Offaly, Laois v London.

Cavan – Best finish 1st; worst finish 2nd

Offaly – Best finish 1st; worst finish 3rd

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Laois – Best finish 2nd; worst finish 4th

London – Best finish 3rd; worst finish 4th

2022 Tailteann Cup runners-up Cavan are guaranteed progress to round two, Offaly are as good as through. A draw between these two would see them finish first and second, no matter what happens elsewhere.

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Laois versus London is a straight shoot off. A win for London would see them finish third, that should be enough for a pre-lim q/f spot. Laois need to win and need a Cavan win to have a shot at finishing second. A draw would see London get their bus fare and Laois might be gambling for pre-lim-quarter-final spot.

Group 2

Pos Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Down 2 2 0 0 42 15 +27 4
2 Meath 2 2 0 0 48 28 +20 4
3 Waterford 2 0 0 2 26 46 -20 0
4 Tipperary 2 0 0 2 17 46 -29 0

Remaining fixtures: Meath v Down, Tipperary v Waterford

Down – best finish 1st; worst finish 2nd

Meath – best finish 1st; worst finish 2nd

Waterford – best finish 3rd; worst finish 4th

Tipperary – best finish 3rdt; worst finish 4th

Meath and Down have both progressed to round two. This meeting is a straight shootout. The winner wins the group. A draw will see Down through as group winners.

Tipperary and Waterford, the winner takes something, but maybe not it all. The score difference will play against both sides and currently the third placed team in this group will miss out on the second round.

Group 3

Pos Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Limerick 2 2 0 0 44 33 +11 4
2 Longford 2 1 0 1 45 37 +8 2
3 Carlow 2 1 0 1 31 38 -7 2
4 Wicklow 2 0 0 2 31 43 -12 0

Remaining fixtures: Longford v Carlow; Limerick v Wicklow

Limerick – finish 1st

Longford – Best finish 2nd; worst finish 3rd

Carlow – Best finish 2nd; worst finish 3rd

Wicklow – finish 4th

Limerick versus Wicklow is a dead rubber. If sides finish level on points, the group positions are decided by head-to-head results. As Limerick have beaten both Longford and Carlow, they will win on head-to-head. Wicklow’s maximum points is two.

Longford and Carlow is a straight shootout for 2nd place. Both sides sit on two points. If this one finishes a draw, Longford will progress on score difference, Longford +8, Carlow -7.

Wicklow are out already as they have lost to both Longford and Carlow. If Wicklow beat Limerick they will lose out for third place to the loser of Longford/Carlow on head-to-head.

Group 4

Pos Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Antrim 2 2 0 0 48 32 +16 4
2 Fermanagh 2 1 1 0 38 29 +9 3
3 Wexford 2 0 1 1 30 37 -7 1
4 Leitrim 2 0 0 2 31 49 -18 0

Remaining Fixtures; Leitrim v Wexford, Antrim v Fermanagh

Antrim – Best finish 1st, worst finish 2nd

Fermanagh – Best finish 1st, worst finish 3rd

Wexford – Best finish 2nd, worst finish 4th

Leitrim – Best finish 3rd, worst finish 4th.

Antrim have won their first two games and as Fermanagh and Wexford drew, Antrim are guaranteed to progress to round two.  It means Fermanagh and Antrim is a shootout for first place.

Leitrim v Wexford is a real do or die meeting. Nothing but a win for Leitrim will do. However a draw might not be enough for Wexford as their score difference is -7 and run the risk of being the fourth third-placed team.

Similarly if Wexford win and Antrim beat Fermanagh, the score difference of Fermanagh +9 and Wexford -7 would bring the abacas out to decide who finishes second.

Round Two

So this is what we know going into round two. Round Two is straight knock-out tournament. Involving four stages, pre-lim-quarter-finals, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

Here’s what we know.

Quarter-finals

These are the four group winners who will come from, Cavan/Offaly(group 1), Meath/Down(group 2), Limerick (group 3) and Antrim/Fermanagh (group 4).

These four group winners will have a home quarter-final and will face one of the preliminary quarter-final winners.

Preliminary Quarter-Final

This round would be called “the second round” in the majority of sports but in the GAA world it’s the pre-lim-Quarter-finals.

  • Eight teams in total
  • The four Group runner’s-up from the first round.
  • The three best third placed teams in the groups plus New York.

So here is the tricky bit. We need to rank the teams finishing third in the groups. The worst ranked team goes home and their place is given to New York.

As things stand, the third place ranking is;

As things stand, the third place ranking is;

Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Diff Pts
Carlow 1 0 0 31 38 -7 2
Laois 0 1 1 31 40 -9 1
Wexford 0 1 1 30 37 -7 1
Waterford 0 0 2 26 46 -20 0

As things stand, Waterford will miss out on a place in the Tailteann cup pre-lim-quarter-finals as they have the least amount of points.

If there are two or more sides on the same amount of points score difference is used to decide who progresses. And If score difference is the same, the teams are decided by goals scored. If goals scored is the same, the team with the fewer goals conceded progress. If we are still stuck, then it’s a play-off game.

So as things stand the four teams in the third placed positions are Laois (group 1), Carlow (group 3), Wexford (group 4) and New York. New York would take the place as third placed in group 2 replacing Waterford.

Actual games

This bit is a little unclear, but expect a draw with the teams who finished second in their group getting home advantage. Teams who met in round one won’t be able to meet in this round. For instance Carlow won’t play Longford as they met in the group stage.

Hence New York will not be able to meet the runner’s-up in group two!

The winners of these four games will progress to the quarter-finals.

Quarter-finals

The Four group’s winners will meet the four winners from the prelim-quarter-finals. Again a draw is TBC! But the four group winners will have home advantage.

There will be an attempt to not repeat meetings from round one. E.g. a best effort will be made for Limerick not to face Longford or Carlow in this round.

The four quarter-finals winners progress to the semi-final.

Semi-Final

Again we expect a draw for the semi-final line-up, but! Teams who have already met in the Tailteann cup can meet again at this stage.

The venues are TBC. 2022 saw the Tailteann cup semi-finals in Croke Park, but this seems to have a question mark beside it. THE CCCC will decide the venue for these games.

The two winners progress to the final.

Final

One game, extra-time and penalties if required in Croke Park on Saturday July 15. Most probably as the undercard to the first All-Ireland semi-final.

The winner takes it all, climbing the steps of the Hogan stand to lift the second edition of the Tailteann cup and becoming the first qualifiers for the 2024 All-Ireland championship!

It’s that straight forward! Or is it, lots of games to play!

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