The draws have been made for the opening stages of the divisions and colleges sections of the Bons Secours Hospital Premier SFC and the Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC.
There is one semi-final spot up for grabs in each code as UCC and MTU Cork have been given byes to the last four, along with Duhallow in the football and Imokilly in the hurling.
Carrigdhoun and Seandun will not compete in the football championship, leaving the remaining five divisions to battle it out. In the opening round, Carbery clash with Imokilly while Avondhu will take on Beara, the loser of the latter tie taking on Muskerry.
The loser of that Muskerry v Avondhu/Beara game will then face the Carbery/Imokilly loser and the team that prevails will join the two first-round winners and the winners of the two back-door games, leading to a preliminary final, with the winners moving forward to the semi-finals of the divisions/colleges section and a chance for a quarter-final place in the championship proper.
In the hurling, apart from Beara the only absentees are Seandún, who impressed last year in beating Muskerry. The opening round has paired Carrigdhoun with Muskerry and Avondhu with Carbery, with the losers of that meeting Duhallow.
The winners of that game will go to the preliminary semi-finals with the first-round winners, while the losers will have another chance against the Carrigdhoun-Muskerry losers. Games in both the football and hurling are to be played throughout the month of June.
Meanwhile, Jack Cahalane has been confirmed as the captain of the Cork U20 hurling team for the coming campaign, which begins tonight, though the Rebels are not in action for another week.
St Finbarr’s man Cahalane was part of the squads which won the last two All-Irelands at the grade and also won a minor football All-Ireland in 2019 but he has opted to focus on hurling for the current U20 season.
As with the minor championship, the U20 hurling – which is sponsored by sportswear manufacturer oneills.com – will be run on a group-stage basis, with two sections of three teams each.
Cork are in Group 1 with Clare and Limerick, who face off at TUS Gaelic Grounds this evening in a game refereed by Leeside referee Nathan Wall. Cork begin their schedule with a trip to Sixmilebridge to face Clare this night week before Limerick come to Páirc Uí Rinn on April 20, three nights after the county’s senior sides will have met at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
A difference between the minor and U20 championships is that, while nobody is eliminated after the group phase in the minor and the sides finishing in second and third contest quarter-finals, the bottom sides in the two U20 groups will be knocked out. The two semi-finals on April 27 will see the group winners at home to the runners-up from the opposite groups.
In Group 2 tonight, Kerry take on Tipperary at Austin Stack Park in Tralee. That game and the one in Limerick start at 7pm.
Bons Secours Hospital Premier SFC (Divisions/Colleges) preliminary section:
Round 1: A) Avondhu v Beara, B) Carbery v Imokilly
Round 2: Muskerry v loser A
Round 3: Loser round 2 v loser B
Semi-finals: Winner B v winner round 2, winner A v winner round 3 (subject to the avoidance of repeat pairings)
Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC (Divisions/Colleges) preliminary section:
Round 1: A) Avondhu v Carbery, B) Carrigdhoun v Muskerry
Round 2: Duhallow v loser A
Round 3: Loser B v loser round 2
Semi-finals: Winner B v winner round 2, Winner A v winner round 3 (subject to the avoidance of repeat pairings)