The Big Game is Saturday 5pm in Athenry
Post date: May 15, 2012 5:24:09 PM
The big news this weekend is that the phoney war and Mágh Cuilinn have some real goals to look forward to in the Championship as the groups are finally drawn. The knockout stages took a heavy toll on local rivals with both Liam Mellowes and Carnmore consigned to relegation. Last year's All Ireland Champions are the shock members of that group also with Kiltormer, and Portumna/Ardrahan still to be decided.
For Mágh Cuilin though it is all about next weekend when they open their first Senior Championship Campaign for 33 years. County Champions Gort were fittingly first out of the hat, as Team 1 in Group 1 and that is the group where CIMC were drawn third. Mágh Cuilinn still have a home league fixture to play against the County Champions as well as there Championship fixture. Drawn second and fourth respectively in our group were Pearses and Tommie Larkins, CIMC faced both teams last in the 2007 Intermediate Championship, drawing the Pearses group game in Athenry and the subsequent quarter final against Larkins at the same venue. The replay defeat in Clarenbridge to Larkins denied us a semi-final against Rahoon Newcastle with promotion for the winner. Larkins were promoted, won the Championship reached the All Ireland final and have been solidly Senior since, having been relegated immediately in 2006. Pearses were our immediate predecessors as Intermediate champions also reaching the All Ireland final in 2011. They survived a relegation play-off against Kinvara last season although Kinvara were subsequently reprieved. Ironically both teams reached the group stages at the expense of Carnmore, Pearses losing their first round tie to Tynagh Abbey Duniry.
The order of group matches is 1v2/3v4, 1v3/2v4 and 1v4/2v3 which means CIMC play Tommie Larkins at 5 pm next Saturday in Athenry. Forget about Heineken Cups or Champions Leagues, on Saturday the big game is in Athenry. The games this weekend feature clubs with football involvement next weekend( Highlighted in bold). Those clubs without football committments will play next weekend.
The groups for the last 16 teams were also decided this evening with the line-ups as follows:
The relegation group is as follows:
1. Ardrahan / Portumna
4. Liam Mellows
Again, the first round here is 1 v 2, and 3 v 4.