Cork County Board outline club plans with group stages from July 24 

Cork County Board outline club plans with group stages from July 24 
Cork captain Ian Maguire of St Finbarr’s and Nemo Rangers' Paul Kerrigan will be back in action with their clubs from July 24.Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

THE executive of the Cork County Board has approved a revised schedule for the county championships, with the original group-stage format retained in a compacted timeframe.

The board says that “consideration was given to a range of formats such as knock-out, backdoor and groups of three, however all three were problematic in terms of fairness and scheduling, therefore it was decided to stay with groups of four as approved by the clubs in 2019.

“While risk of a second wave persists, this programme has been compiled in line with GAA guidelines and we will continue to operate on that basis, notwithstanding the future challenges which may yet arise.” 

However, only two teams will advance from each group – rather than three, as was originally planned – negating the need for preliminary quarter-finals. 

All knock-out games will finish on the day, where necessary and as decided by the competitions control committee (CCC). 

All games will take place at neutral venues and there will be no double-headers during the group stages and for as long as the limit on public gatherings of 500 people persists.

Club games are permitted from July 17, with teams able to arrange challenge matches, and the championships will commence with a round of football matches the following weekend. 

Glen Rover's Patrick Horgan is tackled by Sarsfields Jack O'Connor during the Cork SHC at Pairc Ui Rinn.Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Glen Rover's Patrick Horgan is tackled by Sarsfields Jack O'Connor during the Cork SHC at Pairc Ui Rinn.Picture: Eddie O'Hare

From there, there is a window of almost two months before inter-county teams are permitted to reconvene ahead of an October start to their championships. 

Both Cork sides must wait until early November, however, giving extra space to the county championship fixture-setters.

After the opening football weekend, the next two – July 31-August 3 and August 7-9 – will focus on hurling before more football on August 14-16. Clubs will then have a free weekend as the divisions/colleges sections of the senior championships are completed. 

The hurling groups will finish on August 28-30 with the football round-robin culminating a week later.

Quarter-finals will take place over the next two weekends, September 11-13 and 18-20, with semi-finals on September 25-27 and finals held in the first two weekends in October. 

It is hoped that most will be played over October 2-4 but the weekend of October 9-11 is available if there dual-club issues.

Divisional junior A, B and C competitions will start in July, with the quarter-finals scheduled for early October. 

If no Cork senior players are involved, the semi-finals and finals will proceed to a finish in October or otherwise they will be played after the Cork teams are eliminated. 

The open junior B and C competitions will begin in October.

The county leagues are now considered null and void, but an alternative league format after the club championships may be considered. 

There are no plans to concluded the county U21 football and no decision has been made with regard to the club U21 hurling competitions.

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