THE draw for the U-21A hurling championship has thrown up a few exciting pairings. Title-holders Sixmilebridge will open the defence of the crown when they take on their neighbours and arch rivals Newmarket while memories of last year’s senior hurling final will be revived when Cratloe take on Clonlara in another first-round tie. The third first-round clash should also prove exciting with Clooney-Quin taking on Inagh-Kilnamona.
In all, there will be 11 teams in the contest which will commence in mid-March. There will also be 11 teams in the battle for the B title and this draw also threw up some interesting pairings. Last year’s beaten finalists Kilmaley will face O’Callaghan’s Mills in the first round while last year’s winners, Ballyea, will be up against Tubber.
Nine teams will play for the C title and this group includes teams from Newmarket, Éire Óg, Clonlara and Sixmilebridge who also have teams in the A competition.
The full draws are
Byes to A: Broadford-O’Callaghan’s Mills; B: St Joseph’s; C: Crusheen; D: Clarecastle; E: Éire Óg; F: Cratloe v Clonlara; G: Sixmilebridge v Newmarket; H: Clooney-Quin v Inagh-Kilnamona.
Quarter-finals: 1 = G v C; 2 = B v F; 3 = A v D; 4 = E v H.
Semi-finals: 2 v 4; 1 v 3
Byes to A: Corofin; B: Scariff-Ogonnelloe; C: Banner-Ruan; D: Smith O’Brien’s; E: Whitegate; F: Kilmaley v O’Callaghan’s Mills; G: Tubber v Ballyea; H: Wolfe Tones v Tulla-Bodyke.
Quarter-finals: 1 = G v D; 2 = H v C; 3 = B v A; 4 = D—E v F.
Semi-finals: 2 v 3; 1 v 4.
Preliminary Round: A: Meelick v Newmarket;
quarter-finals: 1: Éire Óg v Clonlara; 2: Feakle/Killanena v Sixmilebridge; 3: Meelick or Newmarket v Ennistymon; 4: Bodyke v Parteen.
Semi-finals: 2 v 1; 3 v 4.