Peter Cunningham in action for Bracknagh last year
Revised formats for the Offaly GAA championships were approved at a special County Board meeting on Monday evening.
Delegates gave the thumbs up for proposals from the Competitions Control Committee for streamlined and slightly modified championships that will begin at the end of July and run through until the middle of October.
With an eleven week window before inter-county action commences, Offaly had to change their original championship structures – abandoning plans to run big eight team groups in the Senior, Senior “B” and Intermediate Hurling Championships and doing away with the criss-cross system in their main football ones. It has been planned that teams would play each other in the opposing group in football, resulting in four games but this has now been replaced by a traditional group format where you play the teams in your own group and have three games. The other big change is that there will be no quarter-finals and instead, the top four teams will go straight into semi-finals. The U-20 hurling and football championships are knockout.
There had been speculation that Offaly would opt for knockout championships if games got the go-ahead with the ease of coronavirus restrictions but the Management Committee expressed their opposition to that at a recent meeting.
As previously agreed, there will be relegation in the football championships with the bottom team in each group meeting in a playoff to decide who goes down. There will be no relegation in senior hurling as they go ahead with plans to increase that to ten clubs in 2021 – the two senior “B” finalists will be promoted unless one of the teams already has a team in senior hurling, in which case the next highest-ranked team will go up. Extra time and winner on the day regulations will be applied in semi-finals while finals will go to a replay, where there will be a winner on the day.
The 11-week schedule means that Offaly has a tight window in which to play their club programme – underage fixtures will be finalised soon – with little margin for error or unforseen circumstances as they alternate between football and hurling weekends.
There may have to be midweek fixtures with clubs playing twice in the one week if necessary, though they will be attempting to avoid this.
The draws for the football championship were previously made and have been kept with the significant change that teams now play the ones in their own groups while new hurling draws were made on Monday evening.
The championship groups are:
Group 1 – Ferbane, Edenderry, Shamrocks, Bracknagh;
Round 1: Shamrocks v Bracknagh, Ferbane v Edenderry; 2: Edenderry v Shamrocks, Bracknagh v Ferbane; 3: Bracknagh v Edenderry, Ferbane v Shamrocks.
Group 2 – Rhode, Clara, Cappincur, Tullamore.
Round 1: Cappincur v Tullamore, Rhode v Clara; 2: Clara v Cappincur, Tullamore v Rhode; 3: Tullamore v Clara, Rhode v Cappincur.
Group 1 – Birr, Kilcormac/Killoughey, Coolderry, Seir Kieran;
Round 1: Coolderry v Seir Kieran, Birr v Kilcormac/Killoughey; 2: Kilcormac/Killoughey v Coolderry, Seir Kieran v Birr; 3: Seir Kieran v Kilcormac/Killoughey, Birr v Coolderry.
Group 2 – St Rynagh's, Belmont, Shinrone, Ballinamere.
Round 1: Shinrone v Ballinamere, St Rynagh's v Belmont; 2: Belmont v Shinrone, Ballinamere v St Rynagh's; 3: Ballinamere v Belmont, St Rynagh's v Shinrone.
Senior “B” football
Group 1 – Gracefield, Tubber, Erin Rovers, Shannonbridge;
Round 1: Erin Rovers v Shannonbridge, Gracefield v Tubber; 2: Tubber v Erin Rovers, Shannonbridge v Gracefield; 3: Shannonbridge v Tubber, Gracefield v Erin Rovers.
Group 2 – Ballycumber, Durrow, Walsh Island, Ferbane.
Round 1: Walsh Island v Ferbane, Ballycumber v Durrow; 2: Durrow v Walsh Island, Ferbane v Ballycumber; 3: Ferbane v Durrow, Ballycumber v Walsh Island.
Senior “B” hurling
Group 1 – Clodiagh Gaels, Carrig and Riverstown, Tullamore, Clara;
Round 1: Tullamore v Clara, Clodiagh Gaels v Carrig/Riverstown; 2: Carrig/Riverstown v Tullamore, Clara v Clodiagh Gaels; 3: Clara v Carrig/Riverstown, Clodiagh Gaels v Tullamore.
Group 2 – Kinnitty, Lusmagh, Drumcullen and Kilcormac/Killoughey.
Round 1: Drumcullen v Kilcormac/Killoughey, Kinnitty v Lusmagh; 2: Lusmagh v Drumcullen, Kilcormac/Killoughey v Kinnitty; 3: Kilcormac/Killoughey v Lusmagh, Kinnitty v Drumcullen.
Group 1 – Clonbullogue, Kilcormac/Killoughey, St Brigid's, Doon;
Round 1: St Brigid's v Doon, Clonbullogue v Kilcormac/Killoughey; 2: Kilcormac/Killoughey v St Brigid's, Doon v Clonbullogue; 3: Doon v Kilcormac/Killoughey, Clonbullogue v St Brigid's.
Group 2 – Raheen, St Rynagh's, Clodiagh Gaels, Ballycommon.
Round 1: Raheen v St Rynagh's, Clodiagh Gaels v Ballycommon; 2: Ballycommon v Raheen, St Rynagh's v Clodiagh Gaels; 3: Raheen v Clodiagh Gaels, Ballycommon v St Rynagh's.
Group 1 – Shamrocks, St Rynagh's, Brosna Gaels, Belmont;
Round 1: Brosna Gaels v Belmont, Shamrocks v St Rynagh's; 2: St Rynagh's v Brosna Gaels, Belmont v Shamrocks; 3: Belmont v St Rynagh's, Shamrocks v Brosna Gaels.
Group 2 – Seir Kieran, Coolderry, Birr, Tullamore.
Round 1: Birr v Tullamore, Seir Kieran v Coolderry; 2: Coolderry v Birr, Tullamore v Seir Kieran; 3: Tullamore v Coolderry, Seir Kieran v Birr.
Group 1 – Ballinagar, Daingean, Kilclonfert, Kinnitty;
Round 1: Kilclonfert v Kinnitty, Ballinagar v Daingean; 2: Daingean v Kilclonfert, Kinnitty v Ballinagar; 3: Kinnitty v Daingean, Ballinagar v Kilclonfert.
Group 2 – Clara, Edenderry, Rhode, Tullamore.
Round 1: Rhode v Tullamore, Clara v Edenderry; 2: Edenderry v Rhode, Tullamore v Clara; 3: Tullamore v Edenderry, Clara v Rhode.
Group 1 – Kilcormac/Killoughey, Tullamore, Ballinamere, Ballyskenagh/Killavilla, Shamrocks;
Round 1: Ballyskenagh/Killavilla v Kilcormac/Killoughey, Ballinamere v Shamrocks; 2: Tullamore v Ballinamere, Shamrocks v Ballyskenagh/Killavilla; 3: Kilcormac/Killoughey v Shamrocks, Ballyskenagh/Killavilla v Tullamore; 4: Tullamore v Kilcormac/Killoughey, Ballinamere v Ballyskenagh/Killavilla; 5: Kilcormac/Killoughey v Ballinamere, Shamrocks v Tullamore.
Group 2 – Kinnitty, Crinkill, Coolderry, Gracefield, Clodiagh Gaels.
Round 1: Gracefield v Kinnitty, Crinkill v Clodiagh Gaels; 2: Coolderry v Crinkill, Clodiagh Gaels v Gracefield; 3: Kinnitty v Clodiagh Gaels, Gracefield v Coolderry; 4: Coolderry v Kinnitty, Crinkill v Gracefield; 5: Kinnitty v Crinkill, Clodiagh Gaels v Coolderry.
Junior “B” football
Group 1 – Ballyfore, Ferbane, Bracknagh, Tullamore, Raheen, Erin Rovers;
Round 1: Raheen v Erin Rovers, Bracknagh v Tullamore, Ballyfore v Ferbane; 2: Erin Rovers v Ballyfore, Ferbane v Bracknagh, Tullamore v Raheen; 3: Bracknagh v Ballyfore, Ferbane v Raheen,
Tullamore v Erin Rovers; 4: Erin Rovers v Ferbane, Raheen v Bracknagh, Ballyfore v Tullamore; 5: Ferbane v Tullamore, Bracknagh v Erin Rovers, Ballyfore v Raheen.
Group 2 – Gracefield, Clonmore Harps, Ballycumber, Durrow, Shamrocks.
Round 1: Durrow v Shamrocks, Clonmore Harps v Gracefield; 2: Ballycumber v Clonmore Harps, Gracefield v Durrow; 3: Shamrocks v Gracefield, Durrow v Ballycumber; 4: Ballycumber v Shamrocks, Clonmore Harps v Durrow; 5: Shamrocks v Clonmore Harps, Gracefield v Ballycumber.
Junior “B” hurling
Group 1 – Drumcullen, Kilcormac/Killoughey, Seir Kieran, Edenderry, Ballinamere, Tullamore;
Round 1: Ballinamere v Tullamore, Seir Kieran v Edenderry, Drumcullen v Kilcormac/Killoughey; 2: Tullamore v Drumcullen, Kilcormac/Killoughey v Seir Kieran, Edenderry v Ballinamere; 3: Seir Kieran v Drumcullen, Kilcormac/Killoughey v Ballinamere, Edenderry v Tullamore; 4: Tullamore v Kilcormac/Killoughey, Seir Kieran v Tullamore, Drumcullen v Ballinamere.
Group 2 – Coolderry, Lusmagh, Carrig and Riverstown, St Rynagh's, Birr, Belmont.
Round 1: Birr v Belmont, Carrig/Riverstown v St Rynagh's, Coolderry v Lusmagh; 2: Belmont v Coolderry, Lusmagh v Carrig/Riverstown, St Rynagh's v Birr; 3: Carrig/Riverstown v Coolderry, Lusmagh v Birr, St Rynagh's v Belmont; 4: Belmont v Lusmagh, Birr v Carrig/Riverstown, Coolderry v St Rynagh's; 5: Lusmagh v St Rynagh's, Carrig/Riverstown v Belmont, Coolderry v Birr.
Junior “C” football
Group 1 – Edenderry, Ballycommon, Doon, Clodiagh Gaels, Rhode;
Round 1: Clodiagh Gaels v Rhode, Ballycommon v Edenderry; 2: Doon v Ballycommon, Edenderry v Clodiagh Gaels; 3: Rhode v Edenderry, Clodiagh Gaels v Doon; 4: Doon v Rhode, Ballycommon v Clodiagh Gaels; 5: Rhode v Ballycommon, Edenderry v Doon.
Group 2 – Clonbullogue, Shannonbridge, Daingean, St Brigid's, Cappincur.
Round 1: St Brigid's v Cappincur, Shannonbridge v Clonbullogue; 2: Daingean v Shannonbridge, Clonbullogue v St Brigid's; 3: Cappincur v Clonbullogue; St Brigid's v Daingean; 5: Daingean v Cappincur, Shannonbridge v St Brigid's; 5: Cappincur v Shannonbridge, Clonbullogue v Daingean.
Quarter-finals – St Michael's or Clara v St Manchan's or Gracefield; St Rynagh's or St Vincent's v Wheery or Tullamore; Na Fianna or Shamrocks v St Patrick's or St Broughan's; Durrow v Kilcormac/Killoughey.
Quarter-finals – St Brendan's or Na Fianna v Ballinamere or Coolderry; Kilcormac/Killoughey or Tullamore v Shinrone or St Rynagh's; Drumcullen/Seir Kieran v Shamrocks; Belmont v Kinnitty/Lusmagh.