EARLIER this week the Cork County Board issued its list of championship fixtures for the various grades in both codes.
Given the revamped format of all the championship grades, the list is one of the most comprehensive ever produced and the subsequent programme of games will be very demanding.
There are eight grades in the new revised format, kicking off at the beginning of April with the new three-group 12-team Premier SFC.
One division/college will emerge from a parallel phase and progress to the county quarter-final.
The final of the Premier SFC is scheduled for the end of October with the SHC final pencilled in for a week earlier.
The senior hurling championship, now divided into two groups of 12 teams, Premier One and Senior A will begin on the weekend of April 18/19 and it features some potentially cracking games involving the leading contenders for the title.
The Sunday games include a double-header of immense potential, an all East Cork derby and a city derby which will be a throwback to the old days when the city clubs were the dominant force.
The East Cork derby has Midleton and Sars going head to head, two clubs hoping to be in a position to break the stranglehold Imokilly have had on the championship over the past number of years.
Midleton have not broken through in the way that many had envisaged after their 2013 victory while Sars have not been successful since 2014.
Midleton will have Ben O’Connor at the helm for that big game, hoping to carry on where he left off with Charleville Sars will have Brian Roche at the helm again with Danny Kearney as captain and having won the Premier U21 championship last season, they have to be among the short list of contenders again.
The meeting in the second game in Páirc Uí Rinn that day has the Glen and the Barrs renewing acquaintances and evoking memories of days long gone when they brought 30,000 plus to the old Athletic Grounds.
Richie Kelleher is seeking a third title with the Glen and if he has anything to do with it, they’ll be right in the mix again.
The Barrs have Aidan Fitzpatrick at the helm this season and was there a more wholehearted player in his day.
The previous day, on the Saturday, Kanturk will take on Cloyne in Kildorrery at 4 pm and this will be interesting too from the viewpoint that Kantuk now have Ronan Curran in charge of the operation.
On the same day, Fr O’Neill’s will begin life as a senior club, taking on the team that they defeated to get there, Kilworth.
The North Cork team will have been disappointed with their performance in last season’s PIHC final and will be anxious to set the record straighter.
O’Neill’s had a great run to Croke Park and were desperately unfortunate to lost to Tullaroan in the All-Ireland final by just a point. Now they step up and it will be very interesting to see how they go.
Here are some of the fixtures for the month of April.
Fri, Apr 3:Premier SFC (Group C, R1): Douglas v Bishopstown, Páirc Uí Rinn. 7.30pm; PSFC (B1): Newcestown v Ilen Rovers, Dunmanway, 7.30pm.
Sat, Apr 4: PSFC (A1): St. Finbarr’s v Ballincollig, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6pm; PSFC (C1): Nemo Rangers v Valley Rovers, Cloughduv, 6pm.
Sun, Apr 5: PSFC (A1): Clonakilty v Carrigaline, Brinny, 3.45pm; SAFC (A1): O’Donovan Rossa v St Nick’s, Brinny, 2pm; SAFC (C1): Clyda Rovers v Bandon, Coachford, 3pm; PIFC (C1): Macroom v Kanturk, Cullen, 3pm; JBFC (R1): Dripsey v Glengariffe, Kilmichael, 3pm.
Fri, Apr 10: SAFC (C1): Dohenys v Fermoy, Ovens, 7.30pm.
Sat, Apr 11: SAFC (B1): Eire Óg v Bantry Blues, Ballingeary, 6pm; PIFC (C1): Nemo Rangers v Gabriel Rangers, Ballingeary, 4.15pm; IAFC (A1): Millstreet v St. Finbarr’s, Carrigadrohid, 6pm; IAFC (C1): Mitchelstown v Glanworth, Mallow, 6pm; IAFC (D1): Aghabullogue v Kildorrery, Mallow, 4.15pm.
Sun, Apr 12: PIHC (A1): Aghada v Youghal, Killeagh, 3pm; PSFC (B1): Carbery Rangers v Castlehaven, Skibbereen, 3pm; SAFC (B1): Kiskeam v Mallow, Kanturk, 3pm.
JBFC (R1): Kilbrin v Goleen, Inchigeela, 2pm; St John’s v Garnish, Inchigeela, 3.45pm; Deel Rovers v Ballinacurra, Grenagh, 3pm; Randal Óg v Shanballymore, Ovens, 3pm; Doneraile v Abbey Rovers, Kildorrery, 3pm.
JCFC (R1): Ballinure v Freemount, Mourneabbey, 3.45pm; Lismire v Rathpeacon, Mourneabbey, 2pm; Ballyphehane v Rochestown, Ballinlough, 2pm; Gleann Na Laoi v Lough Rovers, Ballinlough, 3.45pm; Glenlara v Araglen, Castletownroche, 3pm.
Fri, Apr 17: PSHC (B1): Blackrock v Erin’s Own, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm.
Sat, Apr 18: County U21 Football Championship finals; PSHC (A1): Douglas v Ballyhea, Mourneabbey, 4pm; SAHC (A1): Kanturk v Cloyne, Kildorrery, 4pm; SAHC (C1): Fr. O’Neill’s v Kilworth, Rathcormac, 4pm; SAHC (A1): Newcestown v Killeagh, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6pm; SAHC (B1): Bandon v Charleville, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.45pm.
Sun, Apr 19: PSHC (A1): Midleton v Sarsfields, Páirc Uí Rinn, 2pm; PSHC (C1): Glen Rovers v St. Finbarr’s, Páirc Uí Rinn, 3.45pm; PSHC (B1) Bishopstown v Newtownshandrum, Mallow, 7pm; PSHC (C1): Na Piarsaigh v Carrigtwohill, Caherlag, 7pm; PIHC (A1): Courcey Rovers v Carrigaline, Riverstick, 2pm; PIHC (B1): Valley Rovers v Ballinhassig, Riverstick, 3.45pm; PIHC (C1): Castlelyons v Blackrock, Watergrasshill, 7pm; Inniscarra v Blarney, Coachford, 7pm.
Sat, Apr 25: SAHC (C1): Ballymartle v Bride Rovers, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.45pm; PIHC (B1): Watergrasshill v Ballincollig, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6pm; IAHC (B1): Meelin v Douglas, Donoughmore, 7pm; IAHC (C1): Glen Rovers v Midleton, Cobh, 7pm; JBHC (R1): Freemount v Randal Óg, Kilmichael, 7pm; JBHC (R1): Bantry Blues v Belgooly, Enniskeane, 7pm.
Sun, Apr 26: SAHC (B1): Mallow v Fermoy, Castletownroche, 3.45pm; IAHC (A1): Kildorrery v Mayfield, Castletownroche, 2pm; IAHC (B1): Eire Óg v Sarsfields, Ballincollig, 2pm; IAHC (C1): Cloughduv v Aghabullogue, Ballincollig, 3.45pm; LIHC (A1): Kilbrittain v Barryroe, Timoleague, 3pm.