WITH the inter-county scene behind us, Niall Gartland takes a glance at the club scene across all nine counties…
Football: The football championships are up and running in the Saffron County with holders Creggan and Lamh Dhearg playing out an enthralling draw a week ago. They were the first county in Ulster to commence their Senior Championship and they’re currently motoring through the group stages.
Hurling: Antrim’s Senior Championship is one of the most eagerly contested anywhere, and it’s already up and running across the Senior, Intermediate and Junior grades. Dunloy are bidding for what would be a magnificent four in-a-row at the highest grade, but there’s plenty of competing clubs with pretensions of going all the way.
Ladies: The Senior, Intermediate and Junior Championships start up in early September, while the Junior ‘B’ tournament begins a week later on September 11.
Camogie: The camogie championships in Antrim start up at the end of August. Loughgiel are the red-hot favourites, but they’ve suffered a lot of disappointment at the hands of Sleacht Néill in the provincial area. The finals across Senior, Intermediate and Junior level will be played across the weekend of October 8 and 9.
Football: The Armagh Championships get underway on August 26 and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top of the respective championships. Crossmaglen are the perennial contenders at senior level but they’d have felt gutted to lose to Lurgan-side Clann Éireann in last year’s showdown. The finals will take place in the middle of October.
Hurling: The hurling championships in Armagh got underway earlier this week at both Senior and Junior level. Middletown are bidding for four in-a-row at Senior level while Craobh Rua won a county and provincial double at Junior level last year. On Tuesday they defeated Cuchulainns, their first-ever win at the top grade.
Ladies: The ladies championship gets underway on August 26 with a host of Senior and Junior games to take place across that weekend.
Camogie: The camogie championships will throw-in on Saturday, September 3.
Football: The Junior and Intermediate group stages are up and running while the Senior Championship gets underway this weekend. The championships are always competitive in Cavan and reigning Senior champions Ramor will face plenty of stiff competition from the likes of newly crowned league winners Crosserlough, Cavan Gaels, last year’s beaten finalists Gowna and more.
Hurling: The opening round of the Senior Hurling Championship takes place on September 7 with four teams competing for the title (Mullahoran, Cootehill, Pearse Ogs and East Cavan Gaels).
Ladies: Round One of the Ladies Championship took place last weekend across the codes. Laragh are the reigning Senior champions, dethroning Crosserlough last October.
Football: Round one of the Senior Championship takes place this weekend with holders Glen taking on Claudy in their group stage match, while the Intermediate and Junior ranks have already played their first championship games. The Sleacht Néill footballers, always major contenders, take on reigning All-Ireland Intermediate champions Steelstown in their opening encounter this Sunday. The Senior and Intermediate Championship finals have been pencilled in for October 23 while the Junior showdown is to take place on October 9.
Hurling: Two rounds of the group stages of the Senior Hurling Championship have already been played at this juncture. Sleacht Néill are runaway favourites to win the competition outright for what would be the tenth time in a row. The Senior final is down for October 16 while the Intermediate and Junior deciders will go ahead on September 25.
Camogie: The Senior Championship commences on August 19. it’s a group stage format with six teams participating, including provincial holders Sleacht Néill. The final will take place on the last week of October following a four-week gap from the semi-finals.
Football: The Donegal Senior Championship gets underway this weekend while the Intermediate and Junior A Championships have already commenced. There’s group formats across the championships – at Senior level, there are 16 teams in total split across two eight-team groups. Further down the line, the Senior Championship will be played on Sunday, October 9. St Eunan’s are the defending champions while Naomh Conaill and Kilcar are among those who will fancy their chances of dethroning Rory Kavanagh’s side.
Hurling: The Donegal Senior Championship has already been decided with Setanta overcoming their rivals Burt. It was an exciting game with Setanta prevailing in extra-time.
Ladies: The Ladies Championship got up and running on Sunday with games taking place across the various grades. There’s a series of group stage matches before the knock-out rounds get underway in a few weeks.
Football: As with most counties in Ulster, there’s a group stage format in Down. The championships get underway later this month with Down, Ulster and All-Ireland Senior champions Kilcoo beginning their campaign against Clonduff on a date to be confirmed between August 25-29. The Intermediate Championship, also comprising of 16 teams, will also start up during that five-day period.
Hurling: The Senior Hurling Championship is underway with Newry Shamrocks falling to a narrow defeat to Bredagh on their long-awaited return to the senior ranks. In the other round one game, Portaferry overcame reigning champions Ballycran.
Ladies: The Ladies Championships in Down begin this Saturday with a host of matches from across the tiers. Bredagh are the team to beat – they won last year’s Senior showpiece and brought Donaghmoyne to a replay in the Ulster Championship final.
Camogie: The Camogie Championship gets underway on Wednesday, August 24 at Senior level. In the weeks following, the Intermediate and Junior Championships also get into gear. At Senior level, Ulster Intermediate Champions Portaferry, Liatroim, and of course, Clonduff, are the teams to watch out for.
Football: The football championships in Fermanagh get underway in the middle of September. The Senior final will take place on September 23, the Intermediate showdown will go ahead on either September 22 or 23, while the Junior final is pencilled in for September 16. There’s been an overhaul of the structures this year in Fermanagh as they’ve scrapped the knock-out format and will have group stages instead.
Ladies: The Ladies Senior Championship, which involves three teams, Kinawley, Derrygonnelly and Enniskillen Gaels will get underway on Saturday, 20 August. The Intermediate Championship throws in on the weekend of August 24-25 and the Junior Championship preliminary round starts on September 17-18.
Football: The Senior Championships got underway last weekend with Carrickmacross, Inniskeen, Ballybay and Donaghmoyne picking up opening day wins. County champions Scotstown fell short against Ballybay while 2021 Intermediate champions Donaghmoyne did extremely well to claim a last-ditch win against Clontibret. The group stages of both the Junior and Intermediate Championships have also started.
Hurling: The group stages of the Senior Championships have completed with Carrickmacross leading the way with three wins from three. The Junior Championship is also up and running.
Ladies: The Senior Championship gets underway with a number of matches set to take place this weekend. Donaghmoyne will be strong favourites to go all the way.
Football: The action will kick into gear with the Tyrone Junior Championship preliminary rounds on the weekend of September 10-11 with precise details yet to be confirmed. The illustrious Senior Championship will get underway on the last weekend of September, nearly four months after Tyrone were dumped out of the championship at the start of June. As always, there’s no obvious winner but Errigal Ciaran are favourites with the bookies. Reigning champions Dromore, Trillick, Killyclogher, Omagh, Coalisland and Ardboe will also fancy their chances, while 2020 winners Dungannon Clarkes seem to be hitting form at the right time.
Hurling: The Junior and Senior double-header will go ahead on either the 15th or 16th of October. Eire Ogs and Eoghan Ruadh will duke it out for the senior title as per usual, but it’ll be tinged with sadness this year as Eoghan Ruadh and Tyrone hurling legend Damian Casey passed away in June.
Ladies: The Murphy’s Gloves Tyrone Championships will be played off across four weekends in September. Carrickmore are the holders at senior level but one imagines that St Macartan’s will be determined to avenge last year’s final defeat.