Cork GAA: New league format links every club from junior ranks to Division 1

Six levels of senior hurling and football will tie directly into the revamped junior leagues from 2023
Cork GAA: New league format links every club from junior ranks to Division 1

Barry Cripps, Nemo Rangers, battles Colm O'Callaghan, Éire Óg, in the Cork Credit Unions Football League semi-final. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A FULLY integrated league structure, incorporating all adult teams in Cork in one overall structure, will be in place for 2023.

The Cork County Board have released details of every section of the Red FM Hurling and Cork Credit Unions Football Leagues for next season, which were finalised on the basis of league standings this year.

The new league format, which is part of the reform that saw Cork's championships move to a round robin, will consist of senior and junior tiers which will allow progression between the levels. At senior, there are six divisions of 10 teams each, aside from Division 6 which will have 12 teams next year but four will be relegated and two promoted from junior at the end of 2023 to fix this imbalance.

The junior leagues will also have six divisions, with four regional groups of eight teams each, based on the amalgamation of the current divisional leagues. There will six teams where appropriate at the lower levels in junior, including Junior C and D.

A statement from the board to all clubs said they are hoping to get the same support they received for championship reform.

"The divisions will play a leading role in the implementation of the regional junior leagues, working in partnership with one another and indeed, the County CCC. Standalone divisional leagues will be discontinued and divisional officers are about to begin discussions on the grading of teams within the respective regional groups for 2023.

"There will be full promotion and relegation between all levels. 

In theory, a Junior A or B team could climb all the way to Division 1 of the senior leagues through successive promotions. 

"Likewise, a Senior team could find themselves operating in the junior leagues following successive relegations. Thus, the championships and leagues become fully decoupled."

At senior, the top two teams every year will contest the final with both promoted while the bottom two teams will be relegated. 

At junior, the top two teams in each regional group will meet in a final, with the winners progressing to a county league semi-final. The finalists will move up from junior to Division 6 of the senior leagues for the following year. 

This programme will require 10 weekends to be completed in each code and will alternate between hurling and football on designated weekends from February 26 to July 9. Senior teams will have nine regular games and at junior they'll get seven before the knock-out stages.

Seandún chairman Michael Higgins presenting the Seandún Junior B Hurling League trophy to Passage captain Conor Harrington.
Seandún chairman Michael Higgins presenting the Seandún Junior B Hurling League trophy to Passage captain Conor Harrington.

This is where the split season, heavily criticised on The Sunday Game recently by Donal Óg Cusack for seeing the All-Ireland finals held in July, is vital for Cork GAA. 

The leagues will take place across the inter-county campaign with the championship cranking up from mid-summer until late October. 

The senior leagues will continue to be organised by the County CCC, while the regional junior leagues will be run by joint subcommittees of the divisions involved.

2023 Red FM Senior Hurling Leagues  

Division 1: Blackrock, Carrigtwohill, Charleville, Douglas, Erin's Own, Fr O'Neill's, Kanturk, Killeagh, Na Piarsaigh, Sarsfields.

Division 2: Ballincollig or Kilworth, Bishopstown, Bride Rovers, Courcey Rovers, Fermoy, Glen Rovers, Mallow, Midleton, Newtownshandrum, St Finbarr's. 

Division 3: Ballincollig or Kilworth, Ballymartle, Bandon, Blackrock, Blarney, Carrigaline, Castlelyons, Éire Óg, Inniscarra, Newcestown. 
Division 4: Ballinhassig, Ballyhea, Cloyne, Kildorrery, Milford, Valley Rovers, Youghal, St Catherine's, 2022 Division 3 winners and runners-up. 

Division 5: Aghabullogue, Aghada, Castlemartyr, Lisgoold, Argideen Rangers, Ballygiblin, Cloughduv, Dungourney, Mayfield, Midleton (2), Russell Rovers, Watergrasshill.  

Division 6: Ballygarvan, Barryroe, Douglas (2), Dripsey, Glen Rovers (2), Kilbrittain, Meelin, Na Piarsaigh (2), Sarsfields (2), St Finbarr's (2), Tracton, 2022 Junior A winners. 

2023 Cork Credit Unions Senior Football Leagues:

Division 1 St Finbarr's, Ballincollig, Carbery Rangers, Castlehaven, Cill na Martra, Douglas, Éire Óg, Kiskeam, Nemo Rangers, Valley Rovers. 

Division 2: Aghada, Beál Áthan Ghaorthaidh, Carrigaline, Clonakilty, Clyda Rovers, Fermoy, Kanturk, Newcestown, O'Donovan Rossa, St Michael's.

Division 3: Mallow, Bishopstown, Castletownbere, Dohenys, Glanworth, Ilen Rovers, Knocknagree, Macroom, Nemo Rangers (2), Rockchapel.

Division 4: Aghabullogue, Bandon, Bantry, Iveleary, Kilshannig, Mitchelstown, Na Piarsaigh, Naomh Abán, Newmarket, St Vincent’s. 

Division 5: Adrigole, Ballinora, Ballydesmond, Boherbue, Dromtarriffe, Glanmire, Glenville, Kinsale, Mayfield, Millstreet.

Division 6: Gabriel Rangers, Kildorrery, St Finbarr's (2), St Nick's, eight Junior A divisional winners 2022.

JUNIOR LEAGUES:

HURLING: Group A: Avondhu, Duhallow; Group B: Muskerry, Seandún; Group C: Carbery, Carrigdhoun; Group D: Imokilly. 

FOOTBALL: Group A: Avondhu, Duhallow; Group B: Muskerry, Seandún; Group C: Carbery, Beara; Group D:  Imokilly, Carrigdhoun.

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