TWO football strongholds, Skibbereen and Dunmanway, are officially dropping out of the top flight of the senior championship in 2020.
Instead, O’Donovan Rossa and Dohenys will form part of the new-look senior A championship next season.
Rossas, champions in 1992 and finalists again two years later, and Dohenys, who reached the 2006 decider, didn’t make the quarter-finals this season and also missed out because of their positions in the order of merit table.
The seven clubs in the quarter-finals, St Finbarr’s, Nemo Rangers, Ballincollig, Douglas, Clonakilty, Newcestown and Ilen Rovers, qualified for the new Premier Senior championship next year.
And they will be joined by Carbery Rangers, Castlehaven, Valley Rovers, Bishopstown and Carrigaline, who made the cut based on the number of merit points picked up over the last four seasons.
Senior A will also have 12 clubs, Rossas, Dohenys, St Nick’s, Clyda Rovers, Fermoy, Mallow, and Kiskeam along with the premier intermediate finalists and the next three clubs in the order of merit.
That championship resumes on Friday with a city quarter-final derby between St Michael’s and Na Piarsaigh at Páirc Uí Rinn at 7.30pm.
The Mahon club are well clear at the top of the merit table and are poised to be one of the five clubs operating in senior A.
The same format will also apply in hurling, where all the big guns will play in Premier Senior.
There were no real shocks as Glen Rovers, Sarsfields, St Finbarr’s, Newtownshandrum, Midleton, Blackrock, Erin’s Own, Na Piarsaigh, Ballyhea, Carrigtwohill, Bishopstown and Douglas survived.
Less fortunate were Ballymartle, Bride Rovers, Killeagh, Newcestown, Bandon, Kanturk, and Charleville, who will be joined by the premier intermediate finalists and the next three clubs in the order of merit.
Meanwhile, Cork footballers may have to reach the Munster final to play for the Sam Maguire Cup next season.
Croke Park’s Central Council endorsed a second-tier football proposal to be discussed at a Special Congress at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on October 19.
That recommends divisions 3 and 4 teams enter a secondary championship instead of the qualifiers provided they don’t reach their respective provincial finals. Cork play in division 3 for the first time in the county’s decorated history
See P44-53 for more GAA.