The Leinster Hurling Championship has gone through two rounds of games, with two quarter-final berths up for grabs.
Westmeath must beat neighbours Meath to avoid relegation to the Christy Ring Cup next season, while all four sides harbour aspirations of finishing in the top two.
However, the stark reality is that for these counties, where hurling is undoubtedly making strides, the season will be over for two teams on May 14.
Meanwhile, the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups are all facing their conclusion, with the finals taking place on June 10.
This means that the majority of intercounty hurling teams’ seasons are over by the end of May, with only the elite counties competing in the summer months.
As reported by Hoganstand, Brendan Cummins aired his frustrations at the system on the RTÉ GAA podcast. The former Tipperary goalkeeper is involved in the Kerry backroom team, and highlighted the need for more hurling to be played throughout the summer months.
“The way the structure is at the moment keeps everybody honest in the round-robin. There is something definite to play for and something definite to avoid – that is dropping back down to the Christy Ring.
“The Kerry board, in what is a footballing-mad county, have been strong in their support of the hurlers.
“My hope is that Kerry can enter the Leinster championship proper. That’s what our goal is. There are other teams who strive to join the elite counties. Everybody needs to be pushing to get to the next level.
“However, when we get to those crucial weeks in the summer, I think the GAA needs to be giving hurling a little bit more attention; a ‘Super 8’ notion should be floated. That would give hurling the extra bit of profile it needs to compete against football which is becoming a big animal.”
Cummins is not alone in his thought process. With the impending inception of Super 8 in the All-Ireland Football Championship, there are widespread fears that hurling may become a sideshow if nothing is done.
However, if hurling is to be developed in some of the predominantly-football counties, then the intercounty teams need to be given more games throughout June, July and August.