WITH two full weeks of training behind them intermediate clubs were glad this week to get back to some semblance of normality.
Already a few clubs have had challenge games as they rush to get match fit has taken on a whole new meaning. Gone is the pre-season training, the league and friendly games and it is now very much straight into championship we go.
A lot of intermediate clubs will have players involved with divisional senior sides and with three divisional having opted to still participate in the senior championship this presented its own problems for the county executive as they worked to fit in fixtures.
Given the time frame that they have to work with it is a tough schedule but it has to be done in order to be ready for the inter-county games which will commence at the end of September, though final details have yet to be announced.
The Intermediate championship begins on Saturday, July 26 when Castle Road will host three games as last seasons defeated finalists get their campaign underway when they meet last season’s junior A champions Ballyhea.
This is a tough opener for the newly promoted Ballyhea but coming off the back of a marvellous season in 2019 they will relish the challenge.
Junior A champions of 2018 Watergrasshill will take on Aghabullogue whilst Fr O’Neill’s and Na Piarsaigh will be the third game on what is sure to be an extremely busy day in Castle Road.
On Monday, July 27 there are two further first round game down for decision; as yet a venue for these has not been announced: Brian Dillon’s will meet Clonakilty whilst Blackrock take on Valley Rovers.
The following night, Kilbrittain/Timoleague will meet Carrigaline, again the venue for this has not been announced.
The six losing teams from round one will go in into a back door round on August 9.
It will be the losers of Blackrock versus Valley Rovers meeting the losing teams from the clash between Enniskeane and Ballyhea, the losers of the Kilbrittain/Timoleague versus Carrigaline game will meet the losing team from the Na Piarsaigh/Fr O’Neill's clash and the losers between Brian Dillon’s/Clonakilty met the losers of Aghabullogue/Watergrasshill.
Round three will have the six winning teams plus the winners of the back door games which give nine teams, of these two teams will play a knock out round on August 18 with the winner progressing to with the other seven to the quarter-finals which are down for decision on August 30.
The semi-finals will be played on September 12 with the final down for decision eight days later.