Roscrea and Toomevara meet in the opening round of the County League on Sunday

Plenty of comings and goings ahead of new club campaign


By Shane Brophy


Although the weather might not suggest it, the GAA club scene will spark into life this weekend with the opening round of the FBD Insurance County Hurling Leagues.

Last weekend was to be the official start with the opening round of the County Football Leagues but only one game survived the weather.

The forecast for this week looks a little better as clubs look forward to competitive action with the spring championship window looming large in three weeks time.

The leagues remain unchanged from last year with seven rounds of games in divisions 1 to 3 before semi-finals/playoffs and finals to be played in July.

Division 1 sees sixteen teams divided into two groups of eight. County and Munster club champions Borris-Ileigh will return to action with a trip to Eire Og Annacarty with Martin Maher stepping into the breach as manager for the maroons with Johnny Kelly moving onto Offaly. Philip Maher, Philip Kenny and Angelo Walsh (S&C coach) remain on also while Dan Hogan and Vincent Ryan remain on as joint managers of Eire Og Annacarty with Tony Shelly as coach.

Roscrea host Toomevara in the opening round with Liam Dunphy remaining on the helm in Roscrea with former Clare midfielder Colin Lynch as coach. There is change in Toomevara this year with former player Eoin Brislane at the helm.

Division 1 defending champions Drom & Inch are also staying local with James Woodlock managing the team this year joined by Damien Young, Teddy Kennedy and Matthew McGrath and they take on old foes Loughmore/Castleiney where Frankie McGrath has jumped into the managerial role, joined by Eamonn Sweeney (coach).

After promotion last year, Clonakenny under the guise of manager Ger Byrne and coach Tony Doran welcome host Clonoulty/Rossmore in their opening game with former Burgess coach Dave Keane now working under manager Paddy Bourke with John Devane moving onto become Tipperary under 20 hurling manager.

In group B, there's a strong north flavour to it. Nenagh Eire Og and Kilruane MacDonaghs renew rivalry on Sunday in Nenagh with both sides management teams seeing a little change. Noel Maloney & John Brennan remain joint managers of Nenagh but former colleague Ritchie Flannery has come on board as coach after two years with the Limerick minors. Liam O'Shea remains at the helm in Kilruane but Cormac McGrath has moved on as coach with Galway's Noel Larkin taking a greater role this year along side selector Mick Ryan.

Kiladangan host last years division 2 champions Lorrha in Puckane on Sunday when the Lower Ormond men have turned to John McIntyre to revive their fortunes with Eamonn Maher, Martin Young and James O'Meara as selectors. Brian Lawlor remains at the helm with Kiladangan but with Sean Treacy tied up with the Clare hurlers until the autumn, John Mescal joining the coaching set-up with Martin Nolan and James Flannery as selectors.


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