THE 2021 Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues fixtures have been released ahead of a much anticipated and welcomed return to inter-county games.
From Monday next April 19th inter-county panels will be gathering to prepare and they will have four weeks until the league get up and running on May 15th.
All the fixtures are subject to change pending further Government announcements but fingers crossed the plan will see games in all four league divisions commence on Saturday May 15th with all finals scheduled for the weekend of the 19th/20th June.
Great news for counties with second adult teams is that they will be allowed to resume activity and also participate in league competitions.
Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers recently confirmed that the 19th April resumption would include all county teams who previously competed in the National Leagues.
This means that the second camogie teams of Galway, Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny and Tipperary who missed out on the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship late last year, and those of Offaly, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick and Clare who were not allowed to compete in the All-Ireland Junior championship will be free to train and participate in competitions.
The counties second teams lost out under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions which were put in place for last year’s championship which dictated that each county could enter only one side into competition, a move which was made to limit congregation and travel.
This impacted only camogie players as the Gaelic football, hurling and Ladies football All-Ireland competitions contain second teams and it causes a lot of upset in the counties involved.
In the Littlewoods Division 1 League 2021 there are three groups of three, two of the three group winners will be drawn to advance directly to the semi-finals, while the other will have to play in the quarter-finals alongside the three teams who finished second.
The opening round of games is scheduled for Saturday 15 May, with reigning Division 1 champions Galway set to host Clare in Group 1.
All-Ireland champions Kilkenny will start with a home game against Dublin in Group 3.
The other Division 1 fixture on the first weekend of action will see Cork who’ll have home advantage, taking on Tipperary in Group 2.
In the Littlewoods Division 2 league there are four groups, two groups of three and two groups of four.
The top two in each group go to the quarter-finals whilst the bottom four play in relegation playoffs with losers playing in relegation final.
Cork travel to take on Tipperary in round one, with Antrim hosting Down, Kilkenny travel to Wexford and Westmeath head to Dublin.