The draw for the first round of the Clare senior hurling, senior and intermediate football championships has thrown up some mouthwatering pairings.
It was an historic evening for Clare GAA, as a first ever county board meeting was held at the board’s new centre of excellence at Caherlohan on Tuesday, with the championship draws taking centre stage.
Senior hurling champions Sixmilebridge will face Crusheen in the first round and this is a repeat of last season’s semi-final. Clonlara and Kilmaley needed a replay to settle their semi-final clash last year when Clonlara won and they will also meet in a first round this year.
Newly promoted Wolfe Tones will face their neighbours Newmarket, while Cratloe must face Feakle in their first round.
Football champions Miltown St Joseph’s will take on Wolfe Tones in their opening game in defence of the Jack Daly Cup. Éire Óg and Kilmurry-Ibrickane will clash in the first round, while last year’s beaten finalists Cooraclare will face St Joseph’s, Doora-Barefield.
There will be a number of ‘derby battles’ in the race for the intermediate football title. Eight teams divided into two groups of four will compete for the title.
A decision on the format for the intermediate hurling championship will be made at a meeting of the intermediate hurling clubs on Monday next at GAA headquarters in Clareabbey at 6.30p.m. Ogonnelloe’s decision to drop down to junior A grade has left the competition with 15 teams and the clubs have been asked to consider a format of four groups (three of four teams and one of three teams), with two to emerge from each group for the quarter finals for 2016. It is further proposed that for this year only, there would be no relegation from this championship to junior which would result in a return to sixteen teams and the original format for next year.
The following are the draws for 2016;
Senior Football; O’Curry’s v St.Senan’s, Kilkee: Corofin v Cratloe: St Breckan’s v Kilrush: Éire Óg v Kilmurry-Ibrickane: Lissycasey v Ennistymon: Doonbeg v Clondegad: St Joseph’s, Doora-Barefield v Cooraclare; Miltown St Joseph’s v Wolfe Tones:
Senior Hurling: Feakle v Cratloe: Sixmilebridge v Crusheen: Wolfe Tones v Newmarket: Ballyea v Eire Óg; Clooney-Quin v Inagh-Kilnamona; Whitegate v O’C. Mills; Tulla v Clarecastle; Clonlara v Kilmaley;
Intermediate Football; Group 1-Kilfenora, Liscannor, Kildysart, Coolmeen; Group 2- Shannon Gaels, Kilmihil, Clarecastle, Éire Óg;
By Seamus Hayes