Munster and All-Ireland U-21 hurling champions Clare will begin the defence of their titles with a provincial semi-final clash with arch-rivals Limerick.
The draws for the 2010 Munster U-21 and minor championships were made at a meeting of the Munster Council last Thursday. With home and away in operation for all underage fixtures in the province, Clare’s game with Limerick will go ahead at the Gaelic Grounds, as Limerick came to Ennis when the sides met earlier this year.
Cork will play Waterford in a first round game, with the winners going through to play Tipperary in the other semi-final.
Limerick will also be Clare’s opponents in the opening round of the U-21 football championship, with the winners going through to play Tipperary in the semi-final. Cork and Kerry clash in another first-round game and Waterford will face the winners of this one in the other semi-final.
For the second year in succession, Clare will face Waterford in the opening round of the minor hurling championship and this game will take place in Waterford. Clare travelled to Fraher Field in Dungarvan in 2009 and defeated the Decies outfit, who then fought their way back to the losers’ round and came to Ennis and beat Clare in the semi-final.
Victory in the 2010 first round will mean a semi-final date against either Cork or Tipperary, while the losers will go into a three-way play-off to get back into the championship.
The full draw in the minor hurling is:
First round: A: Cork v Tipperary; B: Waterford v Clare; C: Kerry v Limerick
Quarter-finals: D: Losers of A a bye; E: Losers of B v losers of C
Semi-final play-off: Losers of A v winners of E
Semi-finals: Winners of A v winners of B; Winners of C v winners of semi-final play-off
In the minor football championship Clare must face Cork in the opening round. The format is similar to the minor hurling, with the three first-round losers going in to a play-off, from which one will come through to the semi-finals to join the three first-round winners.
The details are: First round: A: Tipperary v Kerry; B: Limerick v Waterford; C: Cork v Clare
Quarter-final: D: Losers of A a bye; E: Losers of B v losers of C
Semi-final play-off: F: Losers of A v winners of E
Semi-finals: G: Winners of A v winners of B; H: Winners of C v winners of F
Last week’s provincial council meeting also made draws for the Waterford Crystal Cup (senior hurling) and McGrath Cup (senior football) tournaments, which take place in January prior to the commencement of the national leagues.
Clare are the current holders of the Waterford Crystal tournament, having beaten Tipperary in the final at the beginning of 2009. The teams will meet in round two this year, provided Clare get over their opening round, which is against Waterford IT.
The draw is: First round: Byes to A: Limerick; B: Limerick IT; C: Tipperary; D: Tralee IT; E: Cork v UCC; F: Kerry v UL; G: Clare v Waterford IT; H: Waterford v Cork IT
Quarter-finals: A v E; B v F; C v G; D v H
In the McGrath Cup Clare, winners of this title in 2008, have received a bye into the quarter-finals, where they will play UCC.
The details are: First round: Byes to A: Limerick IT; B: Waterford; C: Cork IT; D: Clare; E: UCC
F: Tipperary v UL; G: Kerry v Tralee IT; H: Limerick v Waterford IT
Quarter-finals: A v F; B v G; C v H; D v E