National Hurling League

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Allianz National Hurling League
Current season or competition:
2018 National Hurling League
AllianzLeaguesLogo2011.png
Irish Sraith Iomána Náisiúnta
Code Hurling
Founded 1925–26
Region Ireland (GAA)
Trophy Dr. Croke Cup
No. of teams 35
Title holders Kilkenny (18th title)
Most titles Tipperary (19 titles)
Sponsors Allianz
TV partner(s) TG4 and Eir Sport (live games)
RTÉ2 (highlights)
Premier Sports (UK)
Official website Official Website

The National Hurling League is an annual inter-county hurling competition featuring teams from Ireland and England. Founded in 1925 by the Gaelic Athletic Association, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation within the league system.

The league has 35 teams divided into six divisions, with either five or six teams in each division. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the league. Although primarily a competition for Irish teams, teams from England – currently Lancashire, London and Warwickshire – also take part, while in the past New York also fielded a team for the latter stages of the league.[1] Teams represetning subdivisions of counties, such as Fingal and South Down have also participated at various times.[2]

The National Hurling League has been associated with a title sponsor since 1985. Ford, Royal Liver and Church & General have all served as sponsors of the league since then. The competition is currently sponsored by Allianz and is officially known as the Allianz Hurling League.[3]

The league season runs from January to March with each team in the group playing each other once. Division 1 of the league features the top twelve hurling teams split into two divisions of six. A knock-out stage follows for the four top-placed teams in each division. The winners of the Division 1 title are awarded the Dr. Croke Cup and are officially regarded as the National Hurling League champions.

The National Hurling League title has been won by 10 different teams, 9 of whom have won the title more than once. The all-time record-holders are Tipperary, who have won the league on 19 occasions. Kilkenny are the current champions.

History[edit]

Creation[edit]

Since 1887, the All-Ireland Championship had been steadily growing in interest and in participation.[4] The championship, however, was largely confined to the summer months, resulting in a lack of top class inter-county action between September and April. Inter-county tournament games were popular as a way of filling the void, while some provinces organised their own pre-championship competitions, most notably the Thomond Feis in Munster.[5] Several counties had also organised inter-club leagues as a means of supplementing the county championship by providing more games. While these had proved successful, it was decided to create a national senior inter-county league to provide games during the winter and spring months.

Beginnings[edit]

The inaugural National Hurling League began on 27 September 1925 and ended on 16 May 1926. Seven teams - Cork, Dublin, Galway. Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick and Tipperary - competed in a six-game single round-robin format. At the end of the group stage the top two teams contested the league final. Cork won the 1925-26 league following a 3-7 to 1-5 defeat of Dublin in the final.

Development[edit]

While no league took place during the 1926-27 season, the 1926-27 league featured nine teams. A single round-robin format was once again used, with each team playing eight games. The second league featured no final, with Tipperary being declared champions after securing 14 points from their group stage games.

The 1928-29 league featured twelve teams divided in two groups based on geographical position. The Eastern Division comprised five teams from the province of Leinster, while the Southwestern Division had seven teams from the province of Munster and Galway. The top teams in each division played off in the final to determine the champions. This format was used on a number of occasions until the 1934-35, when the league reverted to a straightforward one-group league with the top-placed team being declared the champions. This format was used again during the leagues in 1935-36 and 1936-37.

Ten teams entered the 1937-38 league, with two groups of five teams competing. A third group was added in 1938-39 as the number of teams increased to thirteen. These formats were regularly used over the following seasons, depending on the number of teams participating.

Between 1941 and 1945 the league was suspended due to the Emergency.

The 1955-56 league saw the introduction of a major change in format. As a result of a lack of interest from defeated first-round teams in recent years, Central Council introduced a two-division league featuring a new system of relegation and promotion. Division 1 was confined to ten teams in two groups of five. The bottom-placed team in each group would play off to decide which of the two teams would be relegated. Division 2 was made up of the 'second tier' hurling teams and featured eight teams divided into two groups. Limerick became the first team to be relegated, while Antrim became the first team to gain promotion under the new system.

Sponsorship[edit]

Since 1985, the National Hurling League has been sponsored. The sponsor has usually been able to determine the league's sponsorship name.

Period Sponsor(s) Name
1925-1985 No main sponsor The National Hurling League
1985-1987 United States Ford The Ford National Hurling League
1987-1992 Republic of Ireland Royal Liver The Royal Liver National Hurling League
1992-1999 Republic of Ireland Church & General The Church & General National Hurling League
1999- Germany Allianz The Allianz Hurling League

Division 1[edit]

History[edit]

Jason Flynn in action for Galway against Kilkenny in the 2015 National Hurling League

Division 1 has existed in its current form since the 2012 league.[6] Prior to this, Division 1 had existed as a single division of eight teams. The new division, comprising two groups, was created using the final rankings from the 2011 league. The top six teams from that year's Division 1 were added to the new Division 1A. The bottom two teams from Division 1 and the top four teams from Division 2 were added to the new Division 1B.

In 2012 and 2013, the top two teams in Division 1A contested a final, with the winners joining the top three teams from Division 1A in the semi-finals of the league proper. This format was abandoned when the quarter-final stage was introduced during the 2014 league.[7]

Format[edit]

There are currently twelve teams in Division 1, however, these teams are subdivided into two groups of six - teams ranked one to six in Division 1A and teams ranked seven to twelve in Division 1B.

During the course of a season (from January to March) each team plays the others once (a single round-robin system) for a total of 15 games in each group. Teams receive two points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Where two teams are level on points, the team that wins the head-to-head match is ranked ahead. If this game is a draw, points difference (total scored minus total conceded in all games) is used to rank the teams. Where three or more teams are level on points, points difference is used to rank them.

At the top end of the group stage competition in Divisions 1A and 1B there is a knock-out section featuring quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. The top four teams in both Division 1A and 1B qualify for the league quarter-finals, with the top team in 1A playing the fourth team in 1B, the second team in 1A playing the third in 1B and so on. It is therefore possible for a team finishing fourth in Division 1B (10th position overall) to be eventual National Hurling League champions.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals finish on the day the games are played, thus avoiding the need for replays. If the score is level after the initial seventy minutes, still level after two ten minute periods of extra time played each way, and still level after a further two five minute periods of extra time, a free-taking competition is held. Each team nominates five players to take frees from their chosen position on the 65-metre line. If the teams score an equal number of the five frees, the outcome of the match is decided by sudden death frees using the same nominated players in the same order.

The bottom two teams in Division 1A contest a relegation playoff, with the losing team being relegated to Division 1B the following season. They effectively swap places with the top team in Division 1B, who gain automatic promotion to the top tier.

The bottom two teams in Division 1B also contest a relegation playoff, with the losing team being relegated to Division 2A the following season. Their place in the division is then taken by the Division 2A champions, who gain automatic promotion.

Teams[edit]

Division 1A[edit]

The following six teams are competing in Division 1A during the 2019 league.

Team Years in
Division 1A
in 2019
Total
spells
Longest
spell
First year
in
Division 1A
Most recent
relegation
Total
seasons
absent
Seasons Position
in table
in 2018
League
titles
Last
league
title
Cork 7 2 5 2012 2013 1 2012-2013
2015-
6th 14 1998
Clare 6 2 3 2013 2015 1 2013-2015
2017-
4th 4 2016
Kilkenny 8 1 8 2012 Never
relegated
0 2012- 2nd 18 2018
Limerick 1 1 1 2019 Never
relegated
0 2019- 1st
Division 1B
11 1997
Tipperary 8 1 8 2012 Never
relegated
0 2012- 1st 19 2008
Wexford 2 1 2 2018 Never
relegated
0 2018- 3rd 4 1972-73

Division 1B[edit]

The following six teams are competing in Division 1B during the 2019 league.

Team Years in
Division 1B
in 2019
Total
spells
Longest
spell
First year
in
Division 1B
Most recent
promotion
Most recent
relegation
Total
seasons
absent
Seasons Position
in table
in 2018
League
titles
Last
league
title
Carlow 2 2 1 2013 Never
promoted
2013 5 2013
2019-
2nd
Division 2A
0
Dublin 3 2 2 2013 2013 Never
relegated
4 2013
2018-
4th 3 2011
Galway 3 1 3 2017 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2017- 2nd 10 2017
Laois 7 2 6 2012 Never
promoted
2012 1 2012
2014-
5th 0
Offaly 8 1 8 2012 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2012- 3rd 1 1990-91
Waterford 2 2 1 2015 2015 Never
relegated
3 2015
2019-
5th
Division 1A
0

Venues[edit]

Semple Stadium, as well as being the home stadium of Tipperary, is a regular venue for semi-finals and finals.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh is the home stadium of Cork.
Croke Park last hosted the league final in 2011.

Attendances[edit]

Stadium attendances are a significant source of regular income for Central Council and for the teams involved. For the knock-out stages of the 2017 league, average attendances were 12,474 with a total aggregate attendance figure of 87,321 for the seven games.

Group stage[edit]

The league is operated using a home and away basis every second year. Fixtures in the five group stage rounds of the league are played at the home ground of one of the two teams involved. Each team is guaranteed at least two home games.

Quarter-finals[edit]

The quarter-finals of the league are usually played at the home venue of one of the teams involved. The team which receives home advantage is decided by using the home and away agreement or by a coin toss.

Semi-finals[edit]

The semi-finals of the league are usually played on the same day at the same venue as part of a double-header of games. Semple Stadium, Nowlan Park and the Gaelic Grounds have all been used as the venues for the semi-finals.

Final[edit]

Since 2000, Semple Stadium has been used on ten occasions as the host venue for the league final. The Gaelic Grounds, Nowlan Park and Croke Park have also been used as the final venue during this time.

Managers[edit]

Brian Cody has managed Kilkenny to 9 league titles.
Nicky English managed Tipperary to the title in 1999 and 2001.
Davy Fitzgerald managed Clare to the title in 2016.

Managers in the National Hurling League are involved in the day-to-day running of the team, including the training, team selection, and sourcing of players from the club championships. Their influence varies from county-to-county and is related to the individual county boards. From 2018, all inter-county head coaches must be Award 2 qualified. The manager is assisted by a team of two or three selectors and an extensive backroom team consisting of various coaches. Prior to the development of the concept of a manager in the 1970s, teams were usually managed by a team of selectors with one member acting as chairman.

Winning managers (1976-2017)
Manager Team Wins Winning years
Colours of Kilkenny.svg Brian Cody Kilkenny 9 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018
Colours of Kilkenny.svg Pat Henderson Kilkenny 3 1981-82, 1982-83, 1985-86
Colours of Clare.svg Harry Bohan Clare 2 1976-77, 1977-78
Colours of Dublin.svg Noel Drumgoole Limerick 2 1983-84, 1984-85
Colours of Galway.svg Cyril Farrell Galway 2 1986-87, 1988-89
Colours of Roscommon.svg Michael Keating Tipperary 2 1987-88, 1993-94
Colours of Galway.svg Mattie Murphy Galway 2 1995-96, 2000
Colours of Roscommon.svg Nicky English Tipperary 2 1999, 2001
Colours of Roscommon.svg Len Gaynor Cork 1 1978-79
Colours of Cork.svg Bertie Troy Cork 1 1979-80
Colours of Cork.svg Gerald McCarthy Cork 1 1980-81
Colours of Kilkenny.svg Dermot Healy Kilkenny 1 1989-90
Colours of Offaly.svg Pádraig Horan Offaly 1 1990-91
Colours of Leinster Council.svg Phil Bennis Limerick 1 1991-92
Colours of Cork.svg Michael O'Brien Cork 1 1992-93
Colours of Kilkenny.svg Ollie Walsh Kilkenny 1 1994-95
Colours of Leinster Council.svg Tom Ryan Limerick 1 1997
Colours of Cork.svg Jimmy Barry-Murphy Cork 1 1998
Colours of Galway.svg Conor Hayes Galway 1 2004
Colours of Cork.svg Justin McCarthy Waterford 1 2007
Colours of Roscommon.svg Liam Sheedy Tipperary 1 2008
Colours of Galway.svg John McIntyre Galway 1 2010
Colours of Clare.svg Anthony Daly Dublin 1 2011
Colours of Monaghan.svg Derek McGrath Waterford 1 2015
Colours of Clare.svg Davy Fitzgerald Clare 1 2016
Colours of Galway.svg Micheál Donoghue Galway 1 2017

General performance[edit]

By county[edit]

County Wins Years won Runners-up Years runners-up
Colours of Roscommon.svg Tipperary 19 1927–28, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1967–68, 1978–79, 1987–88, 1993–94, 1999, 2001, 2008 20 1930-31, 1937-38, 1939-40, 1947-48, 1952-53, 1955-56, 1962-63, 1965-66, 1970-71, 1974-75, 1988-89, 1991-92, 1995-96, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018
Colours of Kilkenny.svg Kilkenny 18 1932–33, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1975–76, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1994–95, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 11 1946-47, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1956-57, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1976-77, 1977-78, 2007, 2011
Colours of Cork.svg Cork 14 1925–26, 1929–30, 1939–40, 1940–41, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1973–74, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1992–93, 1998 8 1928-29, 1948-49, 1959-60, 1961-62, 2002, 2010, 2012, 2015
Colours of Leinster Council.svg Limerick 11 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1946–47, 1970–71, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1991–92, 1997 9 1932-33, 1957-58, 1969-70, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1979-80, 1982-83, 2006
Colours of Galway.svg Galway 10 1930–31, 1950–51, 1974–75, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1995–96, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2017 6 1978-79, 1985-86, 1993-94, 1997, 1999, 2008
Colours of Wexford.svg Wexford 4 1955–56, 1957–58, 1966–67, 1972–73 10 1950-51, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1963-64, 1968-69, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1992-93
Colours of Clare.svg Clare 4 1945–46, 1976–77, 1977–78, 2016 6 1975-76, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1994-95, 2001, 2005
Colours of Monaghan.svg Waterford 3 1962-63, 2007, 2015 6 1938-39, 1958-59, 1960-61, 1998, 2004, 2016
Colours of Dublin.svg Dublin 3 1928–29, 1938-39, 2011 5 1925-26, 1929-30, 1933-34, 1940-41, 1945-46
Colours of Offaly.svg Offaly 1 1990–91 2 1980-81, 1987-88

By province[edit]

Province Wins Last win Top county
1 Munster Munster 51 Clare, 2016 Tipperary (19)
2 Leinster Leinster 26 Kilkenny, 2018 Kilkenny (18)
3 Connacht Connacht 10 Galway, 2017 Galway (10)
4 Ulster Ulster 0

List of finals[edit]

All-Ireland champions
All-Ireland runners-up
Year Winners Score Runners-up Venue Winning Captain
1925–26 Cork 3–7 1–5 Dublin Seán Óg Murphy
1926–27 League not held
1927–28 Tipperary won on points system with 14 points from eight games Johnny Leahy
1928–29 Dublin 7–4 5–5 Cork Mick Gill
1929–30 Cork 3–5 3–0 Dublin Eudie Coughlan
1930–31 Galway 4–5 4–4 Tipperary Ignatius Harney
1931–32 League not held
1932–33 Kilkenny 3–8 1–3 Limerick Nowlan Park Eddie Doyle
1933–34 Limerick 3–6 3–3 Dublin Gaelic Grounds Mick Kennedy
1934–35 Limerick won on points system with 15 points from eight games Timmy Ryan
1935–36 Limerick won on points system with 15 points from eight games Timmy Ryan
1936–37 Limerick won on points system with 13 points from eight games Mick Mackey
1937–38 Limerick 5-2 1-1 Tipperary Mick Mackey
1938–39 Dublin 1–8 1–4 Waterford Mick Daniels
1939–40 Cork 8-9 6-4 Tipperary Jack Lynch
1940–41 Cork 4–11 2–7 Dublin Connie Buckley
1941-45 League suspended for four seasons
1945–46 Clare 2–10 2–5 Dublin After a replay Mick Daly
1946–47 Limerick 3–8 1–7 Kilkenny After a replay
1947–48 Cork 3–3 1–2 Tipperary Jim Young
1948–49 Tipperary 3–5 3–3 Cork Pat Stakelum
1949–50 Tipperary 3–8 1–10 Kilkenny Seán Kenny
1950–51 Galway 6–7 3–4 Wexford M. J. 'Inky' Flaherty
1951–52 Tipperary 4–7 4–6 Wexford Pat Stakelum
1952–53 Cork 2–10 2–7 Tipperary David O'Leary
1953–54 Tipperary 3–10 1–4 Kilkenny Jimmy Finn
1954–55 Tipperary 3–5 1–5 Wexford John Doyle
1955–56 Wexford 5–9 2–14 Tipperary Jim English
1956–57 Tipperary 3–11 2–7 Kilkenny
1957–58 Wexford 5–7 4–8 Limerick
1958–59 Tipperary 0–15 0–7 Waterford
1959–60 Tipperary 2–15 3–8 Cork Tony Wall
1960–61 Tipperary 6–6 4–9 Waterford Matt Hassett
1961–62 Kilkenny 1–16 1–8 Cork Alfie Hickey
1962–63
(Replay)
Waterford 3-6
3-10
3-6
1-10
New York Croke Park
Nowlan Park
John Meaney
Home final Waterford 2–15 4–7 Tipperary John Meaney
1963–64 Tipperary 5–12 1–4 Wexford
1964–65 Tipperary 3–14 2–8 Kilkenny Jimmy Doyle
1965–66 Kilkenny 10–15 2–15 New York Jim Lynch
Home final Kilkenny 0–9 0–7 Tipperary Jim Lynch
1966–67 Wexford 3–10 1–9 Kilkenny Jimmy O'Brien
1967–68 Tipperary 6–27 4–22 New York Gaelic Park Mick Roche
Home final Tipperary 3–9 1–13 Kilkenny Mick Roche
1968–69 Cork 3–12 1–14 Wexford Denis Murphy
1969–70 Cork 5–21 6–16 New York Gaelic Park Gerald McCarthy
Home final Cork 2–17 0–7 Limerick Gerald McCarthy
1970–71 Limerick 3–12 3–11 Tipperary Cork Athletic Grounds Tony O'Brien
1971–72 Cork 3–14 2–14 Limerick Gaelic Grounds Frank Norberg
1972–73 Wexford 4–13 3–7 Limerick Gaelic Grounds John Quigley
1973–74 Cork 6–15 1–12 Limerick Gaelic Grounds John Horgan
1974–75 Galway 4–9 4–6 Tipperary Gaelic Grounds John Connolly
1975–76
(R)
Kilkenny 0–16
6–14
2–10
1–14
Clare Semple Stadium
Semple Stadium
Phil 'Fan' Larkin
1976–77 Clare 2–8 0–9 Kilkenny Semple Stadium John McNamara
1977–78 Clare 3-10 1-10 Kilkenny Semple Stadium Seán Stack
1978–79 Tipperary 3–15 0–8 Galway Gaelic Grounds Paddy Williams
1979–80
(R)
Cork 2–10
4–15
2–10
4–6
Limerick Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Dermot Mac Curtain
1980–81 Cork 3–11 2–8 Offaly Semple Stadium Dónal O'Grady
1981–82 Kilkenny 2–14 1–11 Wexford Croke Park Brian Cody
1982–83 Kilkenny 2–14 2–12 Limerick Semple Stadium Liam Fennelly
1983–84 Limerick 3–16 1–9 Wexford Semple Stadium Leonard Enright
1984–85 Limerick 3–12 1–7 Clare Semple Stadium Leonard Enright
1985–86 Kilkenny 2–10 2–6 Galway Semple Stadium Frank Holohan
1986–87 Galway 3–12 3–10 Clare Semple Stadium Conor Hayes
1987–88 Tipperary 3–15 2–9 Offaly Croke Park Pat O'Neill
1988–89 Galway 2–16 4–8 Tipperary Croke Park Conor Hayes
1989–90 Kilkenny 0–19 0–9 New York Gaelic Park Kevin Fennelly
Home final Kilkenny 3-12 1-10 Wexford Croke Park Kevin Fennelly
1990–91 Offaly 2–6 0–10 Wexford Croke Park Danny Owens
1991–92 Limerick 0–14 0–13 Tipperary Gaelic Grounds Joe O'Connor
1992–93
(Replay)
(2nd replay)
Cork 2–11
0–18
3–11
2–11
3–9
1–12
Wexford Semple Stadium
Semple Stadium
Semple Stadium
Brian Corcoran
1993–94 Tipperary 2–14 0–12 Galway Gaelic Grounds George Frend
1994–95 Kilkenny 2–12 0–9 Clare Semple Stadium Bill Hennessy
1995–96 Galway 2–10 2–8 Tipperary Gaelic Grounds Michael Coleman
1997 Limerick 1–12 1–9 Galway Cusack Park Gary Kirby
1998 Cork 2–14 0–13 Waterford Semple Stadium Diarmuid O'Sullivan
1999 Tipperary 1–14 1–10 Galway Cusack Park Tommy Dunne
2000 Galway 2–18 2–13 Tipperary Gaelic Grounds Joe Rabbitte
2001 Tipperary 1–19 0–17 Clare Gaelic Grounds Tommy Dunne
2002 Kilkenny 2–15 2–14 Cork Semple Stadium Andy Comerford
2003 Kilkenny 5–14 5–13 Tipperary Croke Park D.J. Carey
2004 Galway 2–15 1–13 Waterford Gaelic Grounds Ollie Canning
2005 Kilkenny 3–20 0–15 Clare Semple Stadium Peter Barry
2006 Kilkenny 3–11 0–14 Limerick Semple Stadium Jackie Tyrrell
2007 Waterford 0–20 0–18 Kilkenny Semple Stadium Michael 'Brick' Walsh
2008 Tipperary 3–18 3–16 Galway Gaelic Grounds Eoin Kelly
2009 Kilkenny 2–26 4–17 Tipperary Semple Stadium Henry Shefflin
2010 Galway 2–22 1–17 Cork Semple Stadium Shane Kavanagh
2011 Dublin 0–22 1–07 Kilkenny Croke Park John McCaffrey
2012 Kilkenny 3-21 0–16 Cork Semple Stadium Eoin Larkin
2013 Kilkenny 2-17 0–20 Tipperary Nowlan Park Colin Fennelly
2014 Kilkenny 2-25 1-27 Tipperary Semple Stadium Lester Ryan
2015 Waterford 1-24 0-17 Cork Semple Stadium Kevin Moran
2016 Clare 1-23 2-19 Waterford Semple Stadium Cian Dillon & Tony Kelly
2017 Galway 3-21 0-14 Tipperary Gaelic Grounds David Burke
2018 Kilkenny 2-23 2-17 Tipperary Nowlan Park Cillian Buckley

Records and statistics[edit]

By decade[edit]

The most successful team of each decade, judged by number of National Hurling League titles, is as follows:

  • 1920s: 1 each for Cork (1926), Tipperary (1928) and Dublin (1929)
  • 1930s: 5 for Limerick (1934-35-36-37-38)
  • 1940s: 3 for Cork (1940-41-48)
  • 1950s: 6 for Tipperary (1950-52-54-55-57-59)
  • 1960s: 5 for Tipperary (1960-61-64-65-68)
  • 1970s: 3 for Cork (1970-72-74)
  • 1980s: 3 for Kilkenny (1982-83-86)
  • 1990s: 2 each for Kilkenny (1990-95), Limerick (1992-97), Cork (1993-98) and Tipperary (1994-99)
  • 2000s: 5 for Kilkenny (2002-03-05-06-09)
  • 2010s: 4 for Kilkenny (2012-13-14-18)

Gaps[edit]

Top ten longest gaps between successive league titles:

  • 72 years: Dublin (1939-2011)
  • 44 years: Waterford (1963-2007)
  • 38 years: Clare (1978-2016)
  • 31 years: Clare (1946-1977)
  • 29 years: Kilkenny (1933-1962)
  • 24 years: Galway (1951-1975)
  • 24 years: Limerick (1947-1971)
  • 21 years: Tipperary (1928-1949)
  • 20 years: Galway (1931-1951)
  • 16 years: Cork (1953-1969)

Division 2A[edit]

History[edit]

Division 2A has existed in its current form since the 2012 league. Prior to this, Division 2 had existed as a single division of eight teams. The new division was created using the final rankings from the 2011 league. The bottom four teams from that year's Division 2 and the top two teams from Division 3A were added to the new Division 2A.

Format[edit]

There are currently six teams in Division 2A.

During the course of a season (from January to March) each team plays the others once (a single round-robin system) for a total of 15 games. Teams receive two points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Where two teams are level on points, the team that wins the head-to-head match is ranked ahead. If this game is a draw, points difference (total scored minus total conceded in all games) is used to rank the teams. Where three or more teams are level on points, points difference is used to rank them.

The top two teams in Division 2A contest the final.

The bottom two teams in Division 2A contest a relegation playoff, with the losing team being relegated to Division 2B the following season. Their place in the division is then taken by the Division 2B champions, who gain automatic promotion.

Teams[edit]

The following six teams are competing in Division 2A during the 2018 league.

Team Years in
Division 2A
in 2018
Total
spells
Longest
spell
First year
in
Division 2A
Most recent
promotion
Most recent
relegation
Total
seasons
absent
Seasons Position
in table
in 2017
Carlow 6 2 5 2012 2012 Never
relegated
1 2012
2014-
1st
Kerry 5 2 4 2012 2015 Never
relegated
2 2012-2015
2018-
5th
Division 1B
Kildare 5 2 3 2013 Never
promoted
2014 2 2013-2014
2016-
3rd
London 5 1 5 2014 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2014- 5th
Meath 1 1 1 2018 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2018- 2nd
Division 2B
Westmeath 7 1 7 2012 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2012- 4th

General performance[edit]

List of finals[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Captain(s) Ref.
2012 Carlow 1-14 Westmeath 0-12 Nowlan Park Shane Kavanagh
Edward Coady
[8]
2013 Laois 3-14 Westmeath 1-09 O'Connor Park Matthew Whelan [9]
2014 Kerry 3-16 Carlow 3-13 Semple Stadium John Egan [10]
2015 Kerry 5-17 Westmeath 3-17 Gaelic Grounds John Griffin [11]
2016 Westmeath 0-10 Carlow 0-08 O'Connor Park Aonghus Clarke [12]
2017 Antrim 2-12 Carlow 0-15 Páirc Esler Simon McCrory [13]
2018 Carlow 2-19 Westmeath 2-12 O'Moore Park Eoin Nolan
Richard Coady
[14]

Relegated teams[edit]

Year Team Ref.
2012 Down [15]
2013 Wicklow [16]
2014 Kildare [17]
2015 Wicklow [18]
2016 Derry [19]
2017 Armagh [20]
2018 Kildare [21]

Division 2B[edit]

History[edit]

Division 2B has existed in its current form since the 2012 league. Prior to this, Division 2 had existed as a single division of eight teams. The new division was created using the final rankings from the 2011 league. The bottom four teams from that year's Division 3A and the top two teams from Division 3B were added to the new Division 2B.

Format[edit]

There are currently six teams in Division 2B.

During the course of a season (from January to March) each team plays the others once (a single round-robin system) for a total of 15 games. Teams receive two points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Where two teams are level on points, the team that wins the head-to-head match is ranked ahead. If this game is a draw, points difference (total scored minus total conceded in all games) is used to rank the teams. Where three or more teams are level on points, points difference is used to rank them.

The top two teams in Division 2B contest the final.

The bottom two teams in Division 2B contest a relegation playoff, with the losing team being relegated to Division 3A the following season. Their place in the division is then taken by the Division 3A champions, who gain automatic promotion.

Teams[edit]

The following six teams are competing in Division 2B during the 2018 league.

Team Years in
Division 2B
in 2018
Total
spells
Longest
spell
First year
in
Division 2B
Most recent
promotion
Most recent
relegation
Total
seasons
absent
Seasons Position
in table
in 2017
Armagh 6 2 5 2012 2016 Never
relegated
1 2012-2016
2018-
6th
Division 2A
Derry 2 1 2 2017 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2017- 4th
Donegal 3 2 2 2015 Never
promoted
2016 1 2015-2016
2018-
1st
Division 3A
Down 6 1 6 2013 2012 Never
relegated
0 2013- 3rd
Mayo 7 1 7 2012 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2012- 5th
Wicklow 4 2 3 2014 2014 Never
relegated
1 2014
2016-
2nd

General performance[edit]

List of finals[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
2012 Kildare 3-13 Meath 1-12 Parnell Park [22]
2013 London 1-16 Meath 1-14 St. Conleth's Park [23]
2014 Wicklow 0-23 Down 1-18 Páirc Tailteann [24]
2015 Kildare 0-22 Meath 0-17 Cusack Park [25]
2016 Armagh 0-20 Down 1-15 St. Brigid's Park [26]
2017 Meath 4-24 Wicklow 2-15 Parnell Park [27]
2018 Mayo 1-15 Down 0-14 Kingspan Breffni Park [28]

Relegated teams[edit]

Year Team Ref.
2013 Roscommon [29]
2014 Fingal [30]
2015 - [31]
2016 Donegal [32]
2017 Roscommon [33]
2018 Armagh

Division 3A[edit]

History[edit]

Division 3A has existed in its current form since 2012, however, it has existed as a division in its own right since the 2009 league. Prior to this, Division 3 had existed as a single division of five teams. The new division was created using the final rankings from the 2008 league. The third, fourth and fifth ranked teams from that year's Division 2A and 2B were added to the new Division 3A.

Format[edit]

There are currently six teams in Division 3A.

During the course of a season (from January to March) each team plays the others once (a single round-robin system) for a total of 15 games. Teams receive two points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Where two teams are level on points, the team that wins the head-to-head match is ranked ahead. If this game is a draw, points difference (total scored minus total conceded in all games) is used to rank the teams. Where three or more teams are level on points, points difference is used to rank them.

The top two teams in Division 3A contest the final.

The bottom two teams in Division 3A contest a relegation playoff, with the losing team being relegated to Division 3B the following season. Their place in the division is then taken by the Division 3B champions, who gain automatic promotion.

Teams[edit]

The following six teams are competing in Division 3A during the 2018 league.

Team Years in
Division 3A
in 2018
Total
spells
Longest
spell
First year
in
Division 3A
Most recent
promotion
Most recent
relegation
Total
seasons
absent
Seasons Position
in table
in 2017
Longford 2 2 1 2014 Never
promoted
2014 0 2014
2018-
6th
Louth 7 1 7 2012 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2012- 4th
Monaghan 7 1 7 2012 Never
promoted
Never
relegated
0 2012- 3rd
Roscommon 4 2 3 2014 2016 Never
relegated
1 2014-2016
2018-
6th
Division 2B
Tyrone 6 2 4 2012 Never
promoted
2013 1 2012-2013
2015-
2nd
Warwickshire 2 2 1 2016 Never
promoted
2016 1 2016
2018-
2nd
Division 3B

General performance[edit]

List of finals[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
2009 Kildare 2-18 Meath 1-18 Parnell Park [34]
2010 Kerry 2-18 Derry 1-15 Woodmount [35]
2011 Wicklow 2-20 Derry 3-14 Pearse Park [36]
2012 Fingal w/o Monaghan scr. [37]
2013 Fingal 1-09 Donegal 1-05 Breffni Park [38]
2014 Donegal 4-12 Roscommon 2-14 Markievicz Park [39]
2015 Tyrone 0-18 Monaghan 1-11 Keady [40]
2016 Roscommon 4-15 Monaghan 0-07 Fr. Tierney Park [41]
2017 Donegal 4-25 Tyrone 1-12 Celtic Park [42]
2018 Warwickshire 0-20 Louth 1-14 St. Loman's Park

Relegated teams[edit]

Year Team Ref.
2012 Sligo [43]
2013 Tyrone [44]
2014 Longford [45]
2015 Fermanagh [46]
2016 Warwickshire [47]
2017 -
2018 Longford [48]

Division 3B[edit]

History[edit]

Division 3B has existed in its current form since 2012, however, it has existed as a division in its own right since the 2009 league. Prior to this, Division 3 had existed as a single division of five teams. The new division was created using the final rankings from the 2008 league. The two bottom-placed teams from that year's Division 2A and 2B and the remaining four Division 3 teams were added to the new Division 3A. Fingal were added to the division as a seventh team.[49]

A restructuring of the entire league system in 2012 saw Division 3B reduced to four teams. It was now the bottom league of the entire National Hurling League. The number of participating teams increased to five during the 2016 league.

Format[edit]

There are currently five teams in Division 3B.

During the course of a season (from January to March) each team plays the others once (a single round-robin system) for a total of 10 games. Teams receive two points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Where two teams are level on points, the team that wins the head-to-head match is ranked ahead. If this game is a draw, points difference (total scored minus total conceded in all games) is used to rank the teams. Where three or more teams are level on points, points difference is used to rank them.

The top two teams in Division 3B contest the final.

Teams[edit]

The following six teams are competing in Division 3A during the 2018 league.

Team Years in
Division 3B
in 2018
Total
spells
Longest
spell
First year
in
Division 3B
Most recent
promotion
Total
seasons
absent
Seasons Position
in table
in 2017
Cavan 1 1 1 2018 Never
promoted
0 2018- n/a
Fermanagh 4 2 3 2012 2012 0 2012
2016-
5th
Lancashire 1 1 1 2018 Never
promoted
0 2018- n/a
Leitrim 7 1 7 2012 Never
promoted
0 2012- 4th
Sligo 8 2 6 2010 Never
promoted
1 2010-2011
2013-
3rd

General performance[edit]

List of finals[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
2009 London 2-19 Roscommon 2-13 Pearse Park
2010 Wicklow 3-18 Louth 2-09 Parnell Park [50]
2011 Roscommon 0-17 Mayo 1-12 Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada [51]
2012 Fermanagh 2-15 Warwickshire 2-05 Parnell Park [52]
2013 Longford 1-08 Sligo 0-09 Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada [53]
2014 Tyrone 0-13 Leitrim 1-09 Markievicz Park [54]
2015 Warwickshire 1-15 Longford 2-10 Killegland West [55]
2016 Fermanagh 2-13 Longford 3-08 Markievicz Park [56]
2017 Longford 4-19 Warwickshire 3-20 Páirc Naomh Colmcille [57]
2018 Lancashire 1-25 Leitrim 1-18 First Ulsters Park

Former divisions[edit]

Division 1B[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
2012 Clare 0-21 Limerick 1-16 Gaelic Grounds [58]
2013 Dublin 1-16 Limerick 1-15 Semple Stadium [59]

Division 2[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
1955-56 Antrim
1956-57 Kerry
1957-58 Carlow
1958-59 Carlow
1959-60 Laois
1960-61
1961-62 Kerry
1962-63 Meath
1963-64 Westmeath
1964-65 Laois
1965-66 Offaly
1966-67 Kerry
1967-68 Kerry
1968-69 Kildare
1969-70 Antrim
1970-71 Wicklow
1971-72 Meath
1972-73 Meath
1973-74 Carlow
1974-75 Westmeath
1975-76 Wicklow
1976-77 Westmeath
1977-78 Carlow
1978-79 Kerry
1979-80 Wicklow
1980-81 Carlow
1981-82 Wicklow
1982-83 Limerick
1983-84 Tipperary
1984-85 Clare
1985-86 Wexford
1986-87 Tipperary
1987-88 Offaly
1988-89 Cork
1989-90 Clare
1990-91 Galway
1991-92 Antrim
1992-93 Laois
1993-94 Clare
1994-95 Waterford
1995-96 Wexford
1997 Dublin
1998 Kerry 1-11 Westmeath 2-06 MacDonagh Park
1999 Derry 1-14 Wicklow 0-13 O'Moore Park [60]
2000 Meath 5-14 Carlow 2-10 Cusack Park [61]
2001 Kerry 4-14 Westmeath 3-10 Croke Park
2002 Laois 1-20 Antrim 2-14 Semple Stadium [62]
2003 Antrim 3-18 Kerry 2-12 Croke Park [63]
2004 Down 5-15 Westmeath 3-07 Gaelic Grounds [64]
2005 Offaly 6-21 Carlow 4-07 Semple Stadium [65]
2006 Dublin 0-16 Kerry 1-06 Semple Stadium [66]
2007 Laois 2-19 Wicklow 0-08 Semple Stadium [67]
2008 Westmeath 2-12 Carlow 0-12 Gaelic Grounds [68]
2009 Offaly 1-13 Wexford 0-13 Semple Stadium [69]
2010 Wexford 1-16 Clare 2-09 Semple Stadium [70]
2011 Limerick 4-12 Clare 2-13 Cusack Park [71]

Division 3[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
1998 Mayo 2-12 Cavan 1-08
1999 Armagh 0-13 Mayo 1-06 Leo Casey Park
2000 Louth 0-16 Longford 1-11 Cusack Park
2001 Donegal 3-13 Fermanagh 2-10 Kingspan Breffni Park
2002 Longford 1-12 Louth 0-12 Páirc Tailteann
2003 Mayo 2-11 Sligo 2-06 MacHale Park
2004 Sligo 3-12 Tyrone 1-08 Fr. Tierney Park
2005 Donegal 1-14 Mayo 2-10 Markievicz Park
2006 Armagh 3-10 Longford 1-11 Kingspan Breffni Park [72]
2007 Roscommon 1-13 Sligo 0-15 Kingspan Breffni Park [73]
2008 Louth 1-16 Donegal 0-11 Roosky [74]

Division 3 Shield[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
2004 Donegal 4-14 Cavan 2-06 Brewster Park
2005 Fermanagh 0-15 Longford 1-05 Kingspan Breffni Park
2006 Tyrone 3-09 Sligo 0-10 Kingspan Breffni Park [75]
2007 Fermanagh 1-11 Leitrim 1-10 Markievicz Park

Division 4[edit]

Year Winners Score Runners-up Score Stadium Ref.
2008 Monaghan 1-27 South Down 5-14 Kingspan Breffni Park [76]
2009 Sligo 1-13 Monaghan 2-08 Pearse Park [77]
2010 Monaghan 1-18 Longford 1-10 Kingspan Breffni Park [78]
2011 Tyrone 1-15 South Down 0-11 Athletic Grounds [79]

Players with most league wins[edit]

Rank Player Team Era Wins Finals
1 John Doyle Tipperary 1948-1967 10 1949-50, 1951-52, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1956-57, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1963-64, 1964-65
2 Michael Maher Tipperary 1951-1966 8 1951-52, 1954-55, 1956-57, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1963-64, 1964-65
Theo English Tipperary 1953-1967 8 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1963–64, 1964–65
J. J. Delaney Kilkenny 2001-2014 8 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014
5 Mickey Byrne Tipperary 1945-1960 7 1948-49, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1956-57, 1958-59, 1959-60
Jimmy Doyle Tipperary 1957-1973 7 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1967–68
7 Pat Stakelum Tipperary 1947-1957 6 1948–49, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1956–57
Liam Devaney Tipperary 1954-1968 6 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1964–65
Tony Wall Tipperary 1953-1967 6 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1963–64, 1964–65
Donie Nealon Tipperary 1958-1969 6 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1967–68
Henry Shefflin Kilkenny 1999-2014 6 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014
Tommy Walsh Kilkenny 2002-2014 6 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013
Eoin Larkin Kilkenny 2005-2016 6 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014
Jackie Tyrrell Kilkenny 2003-2016 6 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014

Broadcasting rights[edit]

Setanta Sports broadcasts live matches in Australia. Setanta Sports also provides matches from the National Hurling League in Asia. In Ireland TG4 shows live matches each week on Sunday afternoon, with deferred coverage of a second match shown straight after. Setanta Sports broadcasts matces live on the Saturday evening slot. Highlights for all the games are shown at 7:00pm on League Sunday on RTÉ2.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]