Christmas All-Ireland finals and leagues to be completed

THIS year’s All-Ireland Football Championship will revert to a straight provincial knock-out format while the GAA have confirmed that the last two rounds of the National Football League will be completed.

The Ulster Championship will be played as normal with the winner advancing to an All-Ireland semi-final. The draws made earlier at the start of the season will remain in place.

That is good news for counties like Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Down and Antrim who are all chasing promotion.

There is also further good news for Antrim, Derry and Down as their hurlers will still have a shot at promotion. Antrim’s Division 2A final against Kerry and the meeting of Down and Derry in the 2B decider will take place on October 17/18.

Elsewhere in hurling, the Liam MacCarthy Cup will revert back to a straight knock-out provincial competition with two rounds of Qualifiers and then All-Ireland quarter-finals.

The Joe McDonagh Cup will remain a round-robin competition with the winner promoted to the Liam MacCarthy for 2021. They will not be involved in this year’s competition though.

The Christy Ring Cup and Nicky Rackard Cups will also be straight knock-out and will require new draws. Beaten quarter-finalists will enter relegation semi-finals. The Lory Meagher Cup retains its current format.

The All-Ireland Hurling final will take place on December 13 and the football final on December 19.

The U-20 Football and Hurling Championships will be completed.

As expected, there will be no provincial or All-Ireland Club Championships this season in either code.

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