Who will be replacing outgoing League Champions Hollywood as the League Winners in Division 1 will come down to Wicklow GAA’s Old Firm as Baltinglass have only old rivals Rathnew between them and being Division 1 table toppers and lifting the Herbie Hill Cup. (There is however possible potential for issues if both teams finish on 21 points which are mentioned below)
With just two games to play the Baltinglass revolution is steaming along mercilessly with only Tinahely managing to take two points from them and AGB managing a hard earned draw. Baltinglass look strong favourites to take top spot with two games to play and only needing a point from those fixtures to secure top spot. First up is an away trip to West Wicklow rivals Blessington who will be closing out their league campaign with this game and if Baltinglass come away with no points from Blessington they will be hosting a Rathnew side they beat away in what could be a clash for the top spot if Rathnew can overcome bitter neighbourhood rivals St Pats in Wicklow Town first. 1 Point from their two games secures Top Spot for Baltinglass.
Things are very clear for Rathnew, beat both St Pats and Baltinglass on the road to tie with Baltinglass on 21 points IF Baltinglass don’t get a minimum of one point from their game with Blessington. If Blessington can do Rathnew a favour then there’s hope with a win over St Pats meaning they must beat Baltinglass in the last game which levels the head to head so score difference would normally decide who is top dog and as it stands Baltinglass are on +21 and Rathnew are on +17 so its very tight. If both ended up on the same score difference the aggregate score is 0-14 to 0-12 in favour of Baltinglass so Rathnew could potentially make up the deficit should they get the chance except for one walkover related issue.
THE CAVEAT HERE IS THAT THERE HAS BEEN WALKOVERS GIVEN IN THIS DIVISION SO SCORE DIFFERENCE DOES NOT BECOME A FACTOR AS FAR AS WE ARE AWARE AS RATHNEW HAD A WALKOVER GIVEN TO THEM WHICH LEFT THEM NO CHANCE TO ADD TO THEIR SCORE DIFFERENCE.
LEAGUE SEMI FINAL SPOTS
The Dunne Cup is the prize at stake between the top 4 finishers and 2 teams have assured they will be certain of a semi final berth and 4 other teams still have a mathematical chance of making the top 4 spots. Baltinglass have assured they will at worst finish second and are sure of being in the semi finals while Rathnew will still claim the 4th and final berth even if they lose their remaining fixtures. There are also potential Doomsday Scenarios which will be explained below.
Currently in 3rd spot with two to play, a point from either of their last two games with Tinahely & St Pats will secure a top 4 finish for the Arklow men. Defeat to Tinahely would mean that Tinahely would move level on points and split the head to head meaning AGB would need something from their final game with St Pats. Losing both their games could see St Pats pass them out for 3rd spot and Tinahely would join them on 16 with the head to head split and score difference would apply because of the leagues walkover not involving them.
The current Dunne Cup holders are sitting on 14 points in 4th spot and St Pats have the luxury of having 2 games still to play where two wins secures a semi final place. The problem is they face two massive games against Rathnew and AGB who are both chasing their own causes. A win in either could well be enough to book a semi final date. They have the head to head on Tinahely who can only reach 16 points but score difference is not gone in this case as neither of the teams in the potential tie on 16 points were effected by the walkover. If they finish on 16 points with AGB and Tinahely also owith the possibility of finishing on 16 points then score difference will decide as all 3 were not effected by the walkover. Just a point from either of their two games would see them on a total of 15 points and within range of Tinahely who could go past them with a win or Blessington could match their 15 points with a win against Baltinglass and score difference could be deployed in this case too.
One game, One Win and a Lot of Luck. Thats the status for Tinahely who have AGB to play and if they can get a win they can go level on points with the Arklow men with a split head to head. They would then need St Pats to do them a favour and beat AGB in the last game and have a superior score difference to AGB which they do currently.
First a stop at the local church and a decade of the rosary, then a win over Baltinglass and then a second decade of the rosary that results go their way and that their 15 points total is somehow enough to get them through. Its possible but a lot of things have to fall their way and the only controllable is a win over Baltinglass.
- Due to the walkover received by Rathnew the potential for Rathnew and Baltinglass to both finish on 21 points is there. If that were to happen they would have the same points, same head to head and score difference is out the window as Rathnew received a walkover. Whether the rules allow for the aggregate score in the two sides meetings to determine placings is something we don’t have the answer to and need clarification on but whoever it was would be the Herbie Hill Cup League Winners so it would be good idea to have that communicated to the clubs in advance rather than scratching the heads if it happens.
- There is also the possibility for Rathnew, AGB and St Pats to all finish on 17 points which would be real clusterduck as score difference could not be used due to the walkover and because 3 teams are involved head to head is rued out too. All 3 would be qualified but placings for the semi finals are 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd so how that’s decided without a big mess is something no doubt the crew in charge are on top of.
After disappointing league campaigns both Kiltegan and last years league champions Hollywood are already relegated back to Division 1A for 2020 but both sides have shown a great bit of form in the final league games which is very encouraging and timely for both with Championship very much on the horizon