Cork football league games go ahead along with minor and U20 championship

Cork football league games go ahead along with minor and U20 championship

Action from Cork and Derry in the Allianz Football League Division 3 game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in March. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE GAA is pressing ahead with plans to run off the remaining Allianz Football League fixtures before the championship begins in November.

Cork will host Louth at 4pm on Saturday week at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and then travel to Longford the following Sunday. Ronan McCarthy's side only needs a draw from either match to seal promotion to Division 2 for 2021.

Speculation on Thursday morning had been that the Association would cancel those league ties with a view to pressing ahead with the championship, where the Cork footballers host Kerry on November 8 in the Páirc. 

That's a straight knockout competition, though there's a backdoor for the hurlers if they're defeated by Waterford on October 31.

Underage inter-county is also set to continue, despite the concerns over the spike in Covid cases all across the country.

The Cork minor hurlers are due to face Clare on Saturday, October 17 in Thurles. It'll be the first game involving a Cork team, a few hours before Cork and Longford, as the club season gives way to the inter-county phase.

While club games are on hold until a further review by the GAA, inter-county teams are due to play behind closed doors over the coming weeks.

The minor hurlers, managed by Donal Óg Cusack, are first in action, with the winners back at Semple Stadium on the last Friday of October against Limerick. The other semi-final will be hosted in Páirc Uí Rinn, where Waterford face either Tipperary or Kerry.

The Munster final is scheduled for November 14.

 Ben Cunningham, St Finbarr’s, breaking past Jake Bowen, Sarsfields in the Rebel Óg P1 Hurling final. The Barrs forward is eligible for the Cork minors this season. Picture: Dan Linehan
Ben Cunningham, St Finbarr’s, breaking past Jake Bowen, Sarsfields in the Rebel Óg P1 Hurling final. The Barrs forward is eligible for the Cork minors this season. Picture: Dan Linehan

Spectators won't be facilitated, but one parent of each minor hurler will be permitted entry as that grade is U17. It won't be the same for the U20s, though parents will be allowed to wait nearby in the car park.

Pat Ryan is at the helm of that squad, who head to Tralee on Monday, October 19 for the quarter-final against Kerry. If the Rebels win they're off to the Gaelic Grounds the following Monday to face Limerick.

The other side of the draw sees Waterford against Limerick or Clare. The final is down for November 11.

The Cork U20s' season ended before the initial Covid lockdown, in a defeat in Kerry, while the minors are away to the Kingdom on Saturday, November 7.

Challenge matches between minor and U20 counties were suspended last Wednesday by the GAA. 

A Croke Park circular stated: "For minor inter-county games or training sessions staged behind closed doors and because they involve players aged 17 and under, no more than one designated individual (parent/guardian) should attend a training session or game per child/family/group of children."

Meanwhile, Sky Sports decided all its games will be on Sky Sports Mix, which means all Sky customers, even those who don't have a Sky Sports subscription, can watch those hurling and football ties. 

The Cork hurlers' Munster semi-final against Waterford on Halloween is included in the exclusive fixtures they've selected. They'll also be showing two hurling qualifiers and a hurling quarter-final, which could also involved Kieran Kingston's side.

Sky Sports Mix is available in approximately 900,000 homes in Ireland. They'll be showing the semi-finals and finals in both codes as well, but they'll also be on RTE.

Live GAA games on Sky Sports:

Leinster hurling: Dublin v Laois, Saturday, October 24;

Ulster football: Monaghan v Cavan, Saturday, October 31;

Munster hurling: Cork v Waterford, Saturday, October 31;

Hurling qualifier: Saturday, November 7;

Leinster football: Dublin v Westmeath, Saturday, November 7;

Ulster football: Donegal/Tyrone v Armagh/Derry, Saturday, November 14;

Hurling qualifier: Saturday, November 14;

All-Ireland hurling quarter-final, Saturday, November 21;

All-Ireland hurling semi-finals: November 28-29;

All-Ireland football semi-finals; December 5-6;

All-Ireland hurling final: Sunday, December 13;

All-Ireland football final: Saturday, December 19.

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