Cork GAA: Your guide to the 2022 hurling and football fixtures

Keith Ricken's footballers are in action from January, while Kieran Kingston's hurlers return in February with a league game against Clare
Cork GAA: Your guide to the 2022 hurling and football fixtures

New Cork vice-captain Sean O'Donoghue breaks from Westmeath's Eoghan Ahearn during the Allianz Division 1A NHL game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last May. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IT'S all systems go for the Cork hurlers and footballers from January in the revamped inter-county schedule, with the All-Ireland finals brought forward to late July before the club game throws in.

Though Kieran Kingston's hurlers opted not to enter the Munster Hurling League, so don't return to official action until the Allianz NHL opener against Clare at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday, February 5, they've a five-game programme in that competition.

The last league tie is away to Wexford on March 20, but a top-two finish in Group A would see the Rebels through to the semi-finals on March 26-27, with the final slated for the first weekend in April. There's also a relegation play-off on March 26-27 for the bottom teams in Group A and Group B.

The championship won't be long rolling around, the first match in the provincial series taking place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on April 17. Unfortunately for Leesiders still traumatised by the All-Ireland final last August, it's against Limerick, with Cork also meeting the champions, away, in the league on February 27.

The round-robin format is in operation in Munster again, ala 2018 and '19, and Cork have three games on the bounce in May, away to Waterford, then at home to Clare and away to Tipp. The clash with Banner is likely to be held in Páirc Uí Rinn, provided work can be done to upgrade the capacity as Ed Sheeran performs two concerts in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in late April.

Midleton's Conor Lehane and Glen Rovers' Brian Moylan in action. Lehane is back on the Cork panel for 2022. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Midleton's Conor Lehane and Glen Rovers' Brian Moylan in action. Lehane is back on the Cork panel for 2022. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The footballers, under new manager Keith Ricken, have a hectic few months ahead, with two McGrath Cup games in early January and a final if they progress, as well as seven league games from January 30 to March 27. There's a league final, and guaranteed promotion from Division 2, on April 2-3 if the Rebels are in the top two this spring.

There's a decent gap to the championship, on May 7 against Kerry, though like the hurlers' tie with Clare, it's expected to take place in Páirc Uí Rinn. 

Ricken beat Kerry twice in the last three seasons as U20 boss before his elevation to the top job, but the Kingdom have Jack O'Connor back at the helm and made short work of Cork in Killarney last summer. It's likely the back-door will be needed to make any inroads in the All-Ireland series.

Most Rebel football supporters will be looking for steady progress in 2022 and no demoralising defeats, with any silverware a bonus.

FOOTBALL FIXTURES:

January 6: McGrath Cup: Clare v Cork, Miltown Malbay, 7pm.

January 11: McGrath Cup: Cork v Waterford, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7pm.

January 15: McGrath Cup final.

ALLIANZ DIVISION 2: Cork, Clare, Derry, Down, Galway, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon.

January 30: Roscommon v Cork, Dr Hyde Park, 2pm.

February 5: Cork v Clare, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7pm.

February 20: Derry v Cork, Derry CoE, Owenbeg, 2pm.

February 26: Cork v Galway, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm.

March 13: Meath v Cork, Páirc Tailteann, 2pm.

March 20: Cork v Down, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 1pm;

March 27: Offaly v Cork, Bord Na Móna O’Connor Park, 2pm.

April 2-3: Allianz Football League Division 2 final: 1st v 2nd, both promoted.

CHAMPIONSHIP: Cork have drawn Kerry, with home advantage; the other Munster semi-final is Tipp/Waterford v Clare/Limerick.

May 7: Munster football semi-final: Cork v Kerry, Venue TBC, Páirc Uí Rinn likely.

May 28: Munster final.

Seán O’Shea of Kerry scores his side's third goal despite the efforts of Kevin O’Donovan of Cork last summer. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Seán O’Shea of Kerry scores his side's third goal despite the efforts of Kevin O’Donovan of Cork last summer. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

HURLING FIXTURES:

ALLIANZ DIVISION 1 GROUP A: Cork, Clare, Limerick, Galway, Offaly, Wexford.

February 5: Cork v Clare, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm.

February 13: Offaly v Cork, Bord Na Móna O’Connor Park, 2pm.

February 27: Limerick v Cork, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 3.45pm.

March 5: Cork v Galway, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7pm.

March 20: Wexford v Cork, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 1.45pm.

March 26-27: Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-finals: 1st v 2nd from Group A and Group B; Relegation play-off: 6th Group A v 6th Group B.

April 2-3: Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final.

CHAMPIONSHIP: The group stage system from 2018 and '19 is back, each county has two home and two away fixtures, with the top teams moving into the Munster final, the third-placed side goes into the qualifiers.

April 17: Munster round robin: Cork v Limerick, Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

May 8: Munster round robin: Waterford v Cork, Walsh Park.

May 15: Munster round robin: Cork v Clare, Venue TBC, Páirc Uí Rinn likely.

May 22: Munster round robin: Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium.

June 5: Munster final; third-placed team in the province goes into the qualifiers.

CLUB FIXTURES:

January 9: AIB Munster Club IHC final: Courcey Rovers v Kilmoyley, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 1.30pm.

January 9: AIB Munster Club JHC final: Ballygiblin v Skeheenarinky, Mallow, 1.30pm.

January 16: AIB Munster Club SFC final: St Finbarr's v Austin Stacks.

The draw for the 2022 Cork club championship groups take place on January 25.

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