County Championship Draws
The 2016 county championship draws were made at Wednesday’s County Board meeting and produced two relatively even groups in the senior football, although Section A might well be considered a group of near death as it includes Castledaly, Mullingar Shamrocks, Garrycastle, Maryland, Killucan and The Downs; Group B consists of St Loman’s, Tyrrellspass, Coralstown-Kinnegad, Caulry, Athlone and Saint Malachys.
The first two rounds of all three championships (Junior, Intermediate, Senior) are scheduled for 16/17 April 2016 and 14/15 May 2016. These are definite and ‘agreed’ dates. On the first date Mullingar Shamrocks play The Downs and on 14/15 May, Shamrocks play Castledaly. In the third match of Section A, Shamrocks play Killucan followed by Maryland with the last match against Garrycastle on dates to be arranged.
In Junior Football, Shamrocks are drawn with Athlone, Coralstown-Kinnegad, Garrycastle, Caulry, St Loman’s, St Mary’s, Rochfortbridge and Tubberclair. Shamrocks begin this campaign against Tubberclair (16/17 April) followed by Garrycastle (14/15 May). Caulry, Athlone, St Loman’s, Coralstown-Kinnegad, and The Downs.
The junior football final is scheduled for 25 September 2016 but this may move forward to 9/10 September if the Westmeath champions are draw against the European Champions in the first round of the Leinster Club Championship (This does make sense). The senior football final is scheduled for 16 October with the first round of the Leinster championship taking place two weeks later.
Two other points of note to emerge from the meeting: only referees have the power to declare a pitch unplayable and from now on this procedure will be implemented; Sean Sheridan made it clear ‘that no games are being postponed this year unless there is an immediate family death’.