The All County League is only three games in and if you were to take a look at the top of the table in Division One it has a rather familiar look to it. All those sides presently in the top four positions will be there or thereabouts when the end of the season comes about. Indeed I would be very surprised if the eventual league winners for 2011comes from outside this group of four. There can be little doubt that in terms of strength in depth, talent, hunger and organisation these teams are ahead of the rest and will certainly feature prominently when the championship comes along later in the year.
With less than a quarter of the games played the top of the table will become increasingly competitive with the top teams yet to play each other. However it is at the foot of the table where the real pressure will be felt. Cookstown and Moortown remain pointless and will be only too aware of the significance of their predicament at the minute. Their next game becomes even more important and the longer these teams go without a win the tougher the season becomes. The present state of the top division shows that even at this early stage for the bottom six or seven teams there is a league within a league and that for those teams on two points or less currently, their games against those teams around them will decide their fate for this year.
The question must be asked about the state of the league and its competitiveness. The old four divisions of twelve teams could well be under consideration again but clubs playing senior championship football would not fancy the idea of major restructuring of the leagues which would demote as many as four or six of them from the present Division One.
Whatever about that one point certainly worth debate is something that works in other counties and that could be considered for league football in Tyrone. The idea that the team that wins the championship also gains promotion is not universally accepted in GAA circles. In several counties there is no automatic promotion for championship winning teams and promotion to a higher league can only be gained by winning a league or finishing as runners up. Maybe it is time that such a debate took place within Tyrone.