County league placings for 2023 are finalised

Seven tiers in hurling and football, with divisional junior leagues integrated with senior county competitions
County league placings for 2023 are finalised

Pat Horgan (right), vice-chairperson of Cork County Board, presenting the Red FM Hurling League Division 1 trophy to Blackrock joint captains Shane O'Keeffe and John Cashman after their win over Douglas in the final in Carrigtwohill. Also picture is Gráinne Murnane of Red FM. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork County Board has finalised the new fully integrated league structures for 2023 and beyond.

This year was the first time since 2019 that it was possible to run uninterrupted leagues, with three divisions in hurling and football – based on finishing positions in 2019 – divided into sub-groups. The placings in these competitions were then used as the basis for the new format, which will comprise county senior leagues and divisional junior leagues, allowing for progression between both levels. While there had been a possibility of regional or county-wide junior leagues, these will not run.

The Red FM Hurling League and the Cork Credit Unions Football League will each consist of seven divisions. The top five tiers will each feature ten teams, while there will be eight teams each in Divisions 6 and 7.

Initially, the plan had been for there to be 12 teams in Division 6 but, instead, five junior A clubs will be added to both the hurling and football Division 7 – these clubs will continue to play in their divisional junior championships.

Pictured in 2021 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the announcement of Cork Credit Unions as sponsors of the county football leagues were (from left): Pat Horgan, vice-chairperson, Cork County Board; Kevin O'Donovan, CEO/secretary, Cork County Board; Alan Duff, chairperson, Cork Credit Unions; Luke Casey, St Michael's Credit Union; Ciara Fitzgerald, Mallow Credit Union; Kieran Quinn, Youghal Credit Union; Ciarán O'Regan, The Lough Credit Union; and Marc Sheehan, chairperson Cork County Board. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Pictured in 2021 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the announcement of Cork Credit Unions as sponsors of the county football leagues were (from left): Pat Horgan, vice-chairperson, Cork County Board; Kevin O'Donovan, CEO/secretary, Cork County Board; Alan Duff, chairperson, Cork Credit Unions; Luke Casey, St Michael's Credit Union; Ciara Fitzgerald, Mallow Credit Union; Kieran Quinn, Youghal Credit Union; Ciarán O'Regan, The Lough Credit Union; and Marc Sheehan, chairperson Cork County Board. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Only one junior team per division will be added, to ensure minimum impact on divisional leagues. Admission will be based on progress in the 2022 divisional junior championships, with previous expressions of entry to the mooted county junior league also counting in clubs’ favour.

The football leagues will begin on February 26, with subsequent rounds taking place on the weekends of March 12, March 26, April 9, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4 and June 18. The hurling will operate on alternate weekends, starting on March 5 and then proceeding with further rounds of fixtures on March 19, April 2, April 16, April 30, May 14, May 28, June 11 and June 25. By default, group stage games will be scheduled for 11.30am each Sunday but can be changed by agreement.

Promotion and relegation will run between each division. This will mean that league and championships will be fully decoupled, too all intents and purposes – a premier senior club could find themselves dropping down the league divisions while a junior side could, theoretically, make it to Division 1 of the league while still playing lower-level championship hurling or football.

In each of the top seven divisions, the top two teams will meet in the league final and, from Divisions 2-7, both will be promoted to the next highest level. The bottom two teams in each division will be relegated.

In the case of Division 7, the teams in seventh and eighth will drop to their respective divisional junior leagues. The bottom team will be replaced by the winner of the same divisional junior league and the second-bottom team will be replaced by the county junior A championship winners. If the junior champions are already in the senior league, then the place will go to the winners of the division that the relegated side are dropping to.

Similarly, if the bottom two teams in Division 7 are from the same division, their places will be taken by the top two sides in that division’s league.

2023 Red FM Hurling League

Division 1: Blackrock (holders), Carrigtwohill, Charleville, Douglas, Erin’s Own, Fr O’Neills, Kanturk, Killeagh, Na Piarsaigh, Sarsfields.

Division 2: Ballincollig, Bishopstow, Bride Rovers, Courcey Rovers, Fermoy, Glen Rovers, Mallow, Midleton, Newtownshandrum, St Finbarr’s.

Division 3: Ballymartle, Bandon, Blackrock, Blarney, Carrigaline, Castlelyons, Éire Óg, Inniscarra, Kilworth, Newcestown.

Division 4: Aghabullogue, Ballinhassig, Ballyhea, Cloyne, Kildorrery, Lisgoold, Milford, St Catherine’s, Valley Rovers, Youghal.

Division 5: Aghada, Argideen Rangers, Ballygiblin, Castlelmartyr, Cloughduv, Dungourney, Mayfield, Midleton, Russell Rovers, Watergrasshill.

Division 6: Ballygarvan, Barryroe, Douglas, Kilbrittain, Meelin, Na Piarsaigh, Sarsfields, Tracton.

Division 7: Glen Rovers, St Finbarr’s, JAHC winners (Erin’s Own/Kilshannig) and five junior clubs to be added.

2023 Cork Credit Unions Football League

Division 1: Ballincolig, Carbery Rangers, Castlehaven, Cill na Martra, Douglas, Éire Óg, Nemo Rangers (holders), Kiskeam, St Finbarr’s, Valley Rovers.

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

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

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

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

Division 6: Gabriel Rangers, Kildorrery, St Nicholas, St Finbarr’s, Buttevant, Cobh, Kilmurry, Urhan.

Division 7: Cullen, St James’, St Michael’s and five junior clubs to be added.

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