The final round of games in the 2016 National Hurling League were played last weekend. The quarter finals are scheduled to be played in two weeks times as well as the relegation playoff which will determine which team will play in Division 1B next year (either Galway or Cork). The winning/losing of the relegation game is generally seen to be of great significance to each team as the winner stays in the higher quality and more competitive 1A division whilst the loser plays in the lower quality and less competitive 1B division. And playing higher quality and more competitive matches is better preparation for the championship in the summer.
So the story goes. There are a couple of interesting aspects to this however. Since the league was restructured in two divisions of six teams (Division 1A and 1B) in 2012, each team that has been relegated from 1A to 1B has immediately i.e. the following year, being promoted back to 1A. The table below outlines the teams involved:
So perhaps been relegated is not such a bad thing. As long as you ensure you outperform the one and only nearest rival in Division 1B. That is the one caveat to this analysis. If you do lose this game and stay in Division 1B for more than one season it may become progressively more difficult to get out of it.