Divisions have opted out of Cork senior championships ahead of new season

Divisions have opted out of Cork senior championships ahead of new season
Colm O’Driscoll, Carbery, cant find a way past CIT players Aaron Spriggs, Aidan Browne and Mike Lordan. Carbery will enter the SFC this summer but CIT won't be involved. Picture: Dan Linehan

A HOST of divisions, along with Cork Institute of Technology, have opted out of this summer’s post-Covid-19 Cork senior hurling and football championships.

Carbery tweeted last weekend to confirm they would enter a representative side into the football series, but won’t have a side in the hurling equivalent.

They said: “Due to Covid-19 and the fixture schedule for some clubs, Carbery GAA will not be entering a team in the senior hurling championship this year. We will be entering a team in the senior football championship.”

Four teams are confirmed for the non-club section of the Premier football championship: University College Cork (UCC), Beara, Carbery, and Duhallow, runners-up twice in recent years.

In the hurling, it will be a straight play-off between Imokilly and UCC, with the winner going into the Premier quarter-finals along with three club teams, a group winner, and the best two runners-up. The two club outfits with the most impressive records after the three groups are concluded will be pushed straight into the semi-finals.

It’s the same scenario in the football, though there will be divisional/colleges semi-finals and a final to decide who heads into the last eight. Those games will be played off in the gap after the first three weekends of the club round-robin series: Wednesday, August 19 and August 22-23.

UCC clashed with Imokilly, who are in pursuit of four consecutive county titles, but were well beaten. While the champions will be without Declan Dalton, Ger Millerick, and Paudie O’Sullivan this season, as their clubs are in the lower tier of the revamped senior championships, they should still have far too much for a College panel likely to be shorn of its non-Cork hurlers.

Meanwhile, the Carbery divisional board rowed back on a plan to create two junior championships, one for the first teams of clubs and the other for the second teams.

They have still had to rejig their formula to produce a winner until the club window. As a consequence, all games up to the final will be settled on the day, with a second period of extra time and penalties.

The aim in Cork is to complete the junior A hurling and football grades to the semi-final stage and finish them, assuming the four sides left standing feature inter-county players, once the Cork teams are out.

That’s an option, due to the cancellation of the AIB All-Ireland club championships.

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