Cork GAA still plan to run leagues this year but no decision on U21 grade

April 4 date has been pushed back for the beginning of the 2021 season while outstanding finals must also be slotted in
Cork GAA still plan to run leagues this year but no decision on U21 grade

Daniel Meaney, Blackrock looking to stop the breaking Cathal Sheehan, Douglas, in the U21 county hurling final. That competition was not staged in 2020. Picture: Dan Linehan

CORK GAA clubs won’t be returning to competitive action until later in April, at the earliest.

Easter Sunday on April 4 was the original date for the start of the RedFM leagues in hurling and the Credit Union leagues in football, but the ongoing uncertainty over Covid has pushed that back.

“We are hopeful of starting some time that month,” vice-chairman Pat Horgan said.

The 2020 leagues barely got off the ground before the plug was pulled because of the pandemic and the competitions were subsequently abandoned. And while the leagues will kick-start the new season, eventually, the finals in all the divisions may have to be held over.

“The most important thing is that when the inter-county season finishes we have sufficient time to run off our county championships.

“We have a plan to catch up with the outstanding 2020 games and hopefully we can fit them in to the slot we’ve allocated.

“Dates for the championship draws will be made once the date for training is announced. The only problem I see with the programme moving back a bit is concluding the leagues.

“We had planned to play the league finals two weeks prior to the start of the championship.

“If that doesn’t suit we’ll move them back to dates later in the year. I think that would be a small price to pay if that is the only price we have to pay going forward.

“The plan is in place and the template set. We would love to offer more certainty, but obviously can’t at the moment,” Horgan added.

FINAL STEP

Castlehaven wrote to the county board requesting the outstanding 2020 Bon Secours Premier Senior Football final against Nemo Rangers be played before the start of the 2021 championship.

Kevin O’Donovan, CEC/Sec, re-affirmed the board’s position. “That is definitely our intention. We need to find a little window to play the outstanding county finals.

“And it remains our intention to give all those teams an adequate window to prepare for the finals. It’s a priority,” he said.

Blackrock had a query about county final winning medals following their victory over Glen Rovers in the final.

“The executive discussed the matter,” said O’Donovan. “It goes to tender annually and we are due a review of the whole package at the moment.”

Inniscarra asked whether there is going to be an U21 hurling championship this year after it wasn’t played in 2020.

“There is no decision made on this year’s championship,” he added. 

“Adult and underage competitions would be a priority and U21 would have to find a home because of the large numbers of players who overlap.”

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