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New York reaching Connacht final would have major implications for championship

New York stunned Leitrim in a penalty shootout in the Bronx on Saturday night, sealing their first ever win in the Connacht Championship

New York Sam Maguire

The new format of the All-Ireland Championship and Tailteann Cup is based on the assumption of New York taking part in the latter, although there is a contingency plan in place.

In light of the Exiles’ historic win over Leitrim on Saturday night, there is a real chance that Johnny McGeeney’s side could qualify for the Connacht final and thus reach the knockout stages of the Sam Maguire Cup.

Recently-crowned Division 4 champions Sligo – who defeated London on Saturday – will have a thing or two to say about that in the provincial semi-final of coure.

Nonetheless, it is undoubtedly a possibility to consider.

Should they lose, the Big Apple bypass the group stages of the Tailteann Cup and enter the second-tier championship at the preliminary quarter-final stage. This is largely down to reducing the number of games in light of travel costs.

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No such luxury would be extended to them in the Sam Maguire Cup, however. Should New York defeat the Yeats County, they would participate in a four-team All-Ireland Championship group. Of course, that would mean one extra county would be needed to make up the numbers for the 17-team Tailteann Cup.

Therefore, the ‘B’ Championship would consist of three four-team groups, and one five-team group in that scenario. The extra fixtures associated with the five-team group would cause the knockout stages to be delayed.

The GAA’s contingency plan if New York reach a Connacht final (via @TomasORuanaidh on Twitter)

There will be significant focus on the team ahead of their showdown with Sligo in two weeks’ time.

New York travel to Markievicz Park for their semi-final meeting with Tony McEntee’s side on Sunday, April 23. One of Galway, Roscommon or Mayo will await the winner in the decider.

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