WATCH: Iconic Newspapers 2021 GAA Hurling Season Preview podcast
The waiting game is almost over with competitive intercounty hurling on the horizon once more after a long Covid-19 layoff. Iconic Newspapers, of which the Leitrim Observer is a part, has produced a pullout publication which is in papers and on the shelves this week.
The Iconic group has produced a hurling season preview podcast on the back of that publication and you can listen to it below and gear up for the season ahead with Limerick as defending champions. Featured on the podcast are a selection of Iconic's sports editors and reporters, including Noel Dundon (Tipperary Star/TipperaryLive.ie), Colm Kinsella (Limerick Leader), Brian Lowry (Leinster Express) and Robert Cribbin (Kilkenny People). Limerick Leader editor Donn O'Sullivan is the host.
WATCH IN FULL BELOW:
The 2021 Allianz Hurling League kickstarts the hurling season for 2021 this weekend with the All-Ireland Championships slated for the summer months.
SEE BELOW THE STRUCTURE FOR THE HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2021
2021 Liam MacCarthy Cup
There will be a provincial knock-out championship with back-door qualifiers like there was in 2020, but now also with the introduction of relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup.
There will be a preliminary round in the qualifiers between the two defeated quarter-final team in Leinster with the winners progressing to Round 1 of the Qualifiers and the losers relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup in 2022.
Munster: Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Clare, Cork.
Leinster: Kilkenny, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Laois, Antrim.
2021 Joe McDonagh Cup
The six competing teams will be split into two Round Robin groups with each team playing one home and one away match. The top team in each group advance to the Final which will be played on Saturday, July 17, the same day as the Leinster SHC Final, and broadcast live on TV.
The Joe McDonagh Cup winners are promoted in 2021 but do not have a back door into the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
If Kerry win the 2021 Joe McDonagh Cup they will play in Leinster in 2022 and replace the team relegated from the Leinster Championship this year.
Competing counties: Kerry, Westmeath, Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Down.
2021 Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard, and Lory Meagher Cups
The only change to what was announced in December is that British based teams will not be involved. The British based teams will begin the 2022 season in the same Cup they were due to play in in 2021. The three competitions will be played on the following basis.
Two sides to the draw:
Group A - 3 teams drawn on an open draw basis (each team plays 2 games)
Group B - Two teams play in one fixture
Quarter-Final/Relegation play-off: Bottom team from A v Loser of B (loser relegated – exception: Meagher Cup)
Semi Finals: Top 2 teams from Group A are drawn to play against Winner of Group B and Winner of Quarter Final/Relegation play-off
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