Early start for Club Champs?

Club footballers could be gearing up for Senior &Intermediate championship action as early as July 21/22, after it was confirmed that the Connacht Gold Senior and Glenfarne Wood Products Intermediate Championships are slated to start that weekend.

Club footballers could be gearing up for Senior &Intermediate championship action as early as July 21/22, after it was confirmed that the Connacht Gold Senior and Glenfarne Wood Products Intermediate Championships are slated to start that weekend.

County Board Chairman Joe Flynn confirmed to the Observer that were Leitrim to be defeated by Wicklow in next Saturday’s All-Ireland Qualifier in Carrick-on-Shannon, then the race for the Fenagh and Reynolds Cups would start in earnest the following weekend.

However, if Leitrim break their dreaded Qualifier curse, the championships would be deferred for at least a week as Round 3 of the Qualifiers are slated to be held on June 21.

A Leitrim defeat to Wicklow would leave County players with just a week to get ready for the County’s premier club competitions but with dates at a premium due to an extended Club Championship programme following the introduction of new formats for the championship, the County Board must have an early start to fulfill their Master Fixtures list.

The new system will mean more games each weekend but will also leave teams finishing in third place in each group in an almighty battle to either qualify for the quarter-finals or be jettisoned into a relegation playoff.

The first round games in the Senior and Intermediate championships are as follows:

Senior: Group 1: Mohill v Carrigallen; Melvin Gaels v Glencar/Manorhamilton; Group 2: St. Mary’s Kiltoghert v Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s; Kiltubrid v Annaduff; Group 3: Bornacoola v Aughawillan; Drumreilly v Allen Gaels.

Intermediate: Group 1: Fenagh St. Caillin’s v St. Patrick’s Dromahair; Glencar/Manorhamilton v Aughavas; Group 2: Melvin Gaels v Cloone; Aughnasheelin v Ballinaglera; Group 3: Drumkeerin v Gortletteragh; Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher v Eslin.