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  • GAA

Saturday's for football and Sunday's for hurling

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 10:58am

Story by Shane Brophy
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Saturday's for football and Sunday's for hurling

Tipperary will square off with Cork in the opening round of the Munster Hurling Championship on Sunday 12th May

Saturday's for football and Sunday's for hurling

Tipperary will square off with Cork in the opening round of the Munster Hurling Championship on Sunday 12th May

Tipperary supporters can begin planning their summer journeys in 2019 after the Munster Council confirmed the dates for next years senior provincial championships while the draws were also made for the under 20 competitions.

In the senior (& minor with matches again as curtain-raisers) hurling championship, all four of Tipperary's games will be played on Sunday afternoon with throw-in times to be confirmed in the New Year once RTE confirm their live schedule of games.

Liam Sheedy's championship return will begin as it did in his first campaign 2008 with a trip to Cork on 12th May, followed a week later with a home game against Waterford.

All five teams will have the weekend off on 26th May after the participating counties opted not to follow the Leinster championship who have split their third round of games over two weekends. While two counties (Clare and Limerick) will have to play three weeks in a row, this was deemed preferable to a county playing two away matches to begin the competition and another county playing two away matches to end the competition which would be the consequence of making such a change. The running order of fixtures will be reviewed again by the Munster CCC after the 2019 Championship while Waterford are also still in negotiations to host their two home games against Clare and Limerick at Walsh Park.

In round 3 on 2nd June, Tipperary will travel to Ennis to face Clare before having their bye the following weekend when Limerick host Clare and Waterford travel to Pairc Ui Chaoimh for a likely Saturday evening game which proved popular with the spectators this year when Cork and Limerick played in a near full house.

The final round will be played on Sunday 16th June simultaneously with Tipp hosting All Ireland champions Limerick while Cork travel to Clare in a repeat of the last two Munster finals, with the 2019 final pencilled in for Sunday 30th June.

In senior football, all games will be played on Saturday evenings, ensuring there are no potential fixture conflicts for supporters as was almost the case this year.

Tipperary will host Limerick in Semple Stadium in a quarter final on Saturday 11th May in their first championship meeting since 2014. Liam Kearns charges will be expected to progress and set-up a semi-final against Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on the Bank Holiday Saturday, 2nd June with the final once again fixed for a Saturday, 22nd June.

While the under 21 hurling championship changes to under 2019 for 2019, Tipperary will still be classed as defending All Ireland champions and manager Liam Cahill will be happy with the draw after avoiding a quarter final, a fate which has befallen Cork and Limeick with Clare awaiting the winners while Tipperary will host Waterford in the other semi-final on Wednesday 19th June, meaning one win will guarantee a Munster final as well as an All Ireland semi-final.

However, the Waterford game will be just three days after Tipperary's final round-robin game in the senior championship with as many as thirteen players on the senior championship squad.

In the under 20 football championship, new manager Tom McGlinchey has been handed an opportunity to reach a provincial semi-final after being drawn at home to Limerick, however the winners will face Kerry in the last four.

However, Tipperary and all counties in this grade, could have as many as four games to prepare for the championship as the GAA look set to trial a new Development League which will replace challenge matches in May and early June. Currently players that have played senior championship cannot play in the under 20 football championship but that looks set to be amended with the GAA likely to propose at next Congress that those senior players can play under 20, but only once the senior team has exited the championship.

The biggest change in format comes at minor level in 2019 with a new two phase competition. In phase 1, Tipperary, Clare, Limerick and Waterford will be play a round-robin series in April with the top two teams at the end of it meeting in a final in early May with the winners joining powerhouses Kerry and Cork in a second round robin phase 2 with the top two teams progressing to the final and the All Ireland series.

In an effort to expedite the competition, on the same date as the phase 1 final, Cork and Kerry will meet in the opening game of phase 2 with the loser then meeting the phase 1 winner in round 2 with the remaining game played in round 3.

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