THE Muskerry GAA Championship launch took place recently in Cloughduv with a mood of excitement in the air.
Among those in attendance on the night were players from the clubs involved in the Ross Oil Junior A Football Championship, the MJK Oils Junior A Hurling Championship, the Oriel House Hotel Junior B Hurling Championship and the Ballincollig Credit Union Junior B Football Championship.
While also present were club delegates from right across the Mid Cork region.
Iveleary are a good example of what is possible for the Divisional winners of the Muskerry competitions and others will have aspirations of not only making an impact in Muskerry, but also in the Cork County competitions later in the year.
Once all of the formalities were concluded on the launch night in Cloughduv, a lovely cup of tea and sandwiches were on offer from the ever obliging Bina Healy.
Speaking at the launch, Muskerry GAA Vice Chairman Ed Warren spoke about the 2022 championship campaign ahead.
“It is a great time of the year for us. The split season, everybody has different opinions on it, but we think it is good for the club game.
“We are really looking forward to it. Our Junior Football, we start off on the 15th of July.
"We have opening rounds of the Football for two weeks in a row.
“Then we convert to two weeks Hurling and we then go onto quarter final stages of both competitions.
“We get great crowds at our matches. We have got great sponsors and there is a great buzz about the place again now that we are up and running.
“There are teams in both codes we would feel would be very competitive, even outside the Division.
"They have got all their work cut out though to win our Division, before they even get outside Muskerry.
“We think we will have a hugely competitive Championship. For the first time ever resorting to a league Championship format, which means teams get a couple of games within groups before they would go onto qualification.
“The clubs have backed that and mandated that. We think it is a great new change and I can’t wait for it to start, it is going to be great.”
Kicking off the 2022 Muskerry Championships will be the Ross Oil JAFC.
The current holders of the competition Aghinagh will get the defence of their Mid Cork crown underway on Friday night July 15th against Inniscarra.
This contest is down to be played in Coachford with a 7:30pm throw in time.
That November night in Macroom is one which all associated with Aghinagh will forever remember.
The scenes of jubilation and joy on the full time whistle were quite something to behold, as they defeated Ballincollig 1-12 to 0-9 in the decider to secure a historic victory.
Also on the Friday night in action in Group 1 of the JAFC are Kilmurry, who play against Clondrohid in a game fixed for Macroom at 7:30pm.
Kilmurry are a team who will have aspirations of putting a strong championship challenge together once again this term.
Last year they made it to the quarter finals, where they went down against Aghinagh following an epic quarter final contest.
In 2020 Kilmurry made it to the final where they were defeated by just a single point against Iveleary, a team that have since gone on an incredible journey of County title successes and now plying their trade at Cork Premier Intermediate Football level for 2022.
Kilmurry have the potential to go close and will have every chance of being right in the mix for the silverware.
On Saturday July 16, Dripsey play off against Kilmichael in their JAFC Group 1 encounter out in Rusheen.
Kilmichael will be hoping to go an extra step further in 2022, after reaching the quarter final stages of the Muskerry JAFC competition in 2021.
The other games taking place over the opening weekend of Muskerry Championship action include the JAFC encounters between Grenagh and Donoughmore on the Saturday July 16th, while on July 17th Eire Og will be playing off against Cill Na Martra.
The Muskerry Championships look set to once again provide compelling and entertaining contests over the forthcoming number of weeks.
Everyone is eagerly anticipating the commencing of the Mid Cork JAFC and also the JAHC competitions and will follow them with interest.
The Echo looks forward to keeping you up to date on how the competitions in Muskerry are progressing over the coming months.