Hurling and camogie

Antrim to open at the home of All-Ireland champions Galway

Antrim's National League hurling campaign will open with a glamour tie against All-Ireland champions Galway. Picture by Seamus Loughran

ANTRIM’S opening National League fixture will be a glamour trip to the home of All-Ireland champions Galway.

While the Saffrons would no doubt have preferred to bring Michéal Donoghue’s men to the Glens and attract a bumper home crowd, it is a high profile start nonetheless, if a tad daunting.

The Saffrons will have just two home games, against Dublin – who this week appointed former football manager Pat Gilroy as their new boss – and Limerick.

The fixture list isn’t the kindest to them, with their more winnable-looking encounters with Laois and Offaly both set to be away from home, the latter a potential crunch outing on the final day.

Galway will be widely expected to win promotion straight back to the top tier and their absence from Division 1A leaves the fixture list there looking strangely light on heavyweight tussles.

It will kick off with Cork hosting Kilkenny, with whom Brian Cody is staying on again, while beaten All-Ireland finalists Waterford will be up against a Wexford side looking to build on last year’s progress.

Each weekend barring the final round will contain at least one Saturday night fixture, with Tipperary’s clashes with Kilkenny and Waterford catching the eye.

Division 2A is without Ulster representation for the first time in living memory, with Antrim promoted and another quintet all in 2B.

Old rivals Derry and Down will meet on the opening day, with Armagh and Donegal finishing off against each other on March 4.

Armagh face a particularly trying campaign as they have to travel to Wicklow, Down and Derry, all of whom will be hoping to wrestle their way past an improving Mayo.

Tyrone will host Warwickshire – and possibly former Antrim star Liam Watson – on January 28 but they too face three away days.

And after entering last year’s Lory Meagher Cup, Cavan will have a team in the National Hurling League again for the first time since 2011. They will face Fermanagh, Sligo, Leitrim and Lancashire in Division 3B.


Allianz Hurling League Division 1A

Saturday 27 January: Cork v Kilkenny

Sunday 28 January: Clare v Tipperary, Waterford v Wexford

Saturday 3 February: Tipperary v Waterford

Sunday 4 February: Kilkenny v Clare, Wexford v Cork

Saturday 17 February: Tipperary v Wexford

Sunday 18 February: Clare v Cork, Waterford v Kilkenny

Saturday 24 February: Kilkenny v Tipperary

Sunday 25 February: Cork v Waterford, Wexford v Clare

Sunday 4 March: Kilkenny v Wexford, Tipperary v Cork, Waterford v Clare

Division 1B

Saturday 27 January: Dublin v Offaly

Sunday 28 January: Galway v Antrim, Limerick v Laois

Saturday 3 February: Laois v Galway

Sunday 4 February: Antrim v Dublin, Offaly v Limerick

Saturday 17 February: Laois v Antrim, Limerick v Dublin

Sunday 18 February: Galway v Offaly

Sunday 25 February: Antrim v Limerick, Dublin v Galway, Offaly v Laois

Sunday 4 March: Galway v Limerick, Laois v Dublin, Offaly v Antrim

Division 2A

Sunday 28 January: Carlow v Westmeath, Kildare v Meath, London v Kerry

Saturday 3 February: London v Meath

Sunday 4 February: Kerry v Carlow, Westmeath v Kildare

Sunday 18 February: Kildare v Kerry, London v Carlow, Meath v Westmeath

Sunday 25 February: Carlow v Kildare, Kerry v Meath, London v Westmeath

Sunday 4 March: London v Kildare, Meath v Carlow, Westmeath v Kerry

Division 2B

Sunday 28 January: Derry v Down, Mayo v Donegal, Wicklow v Armagh

Sunday 4 February: Armagh v Mayo, Donegal v Derry, Down v Wicklow

Sunday 18 February: Derry v Mayo, Down v Armagh, Wicklow v Donegal

Sunday 25 February: Donegal v Down, Derry v Armagh, Mayo v Wicklow

Sunday 4 March: Armagh v Donegal, Down v Mayo, Wicklow v Derry

Division 3A

Sunday 28 January: Longford v Monaghan, Roscommon v Louth, Tyrone v Warwickshire

Sunday 4 February: Louth v Tyrone, Monaghan v Roscommon, Warwickshire v Longford

Sunday 18 February: Louth v Warwickshire, Monaghan v Tyrone, Roscommon v Longford

Sunday 25 February: Longford v Louth, Tyrone v Roscommon, Warwickshire v Monaghan

Sunday 4 March: Longford v Tyrone, Monaghan v Louth, Roscommon v Warwickshire

Division 3B hurling

Sunday 28 January: Lancashire v Fermanagh, Sligo v Leitrim, Cavan bye

Sunday 4 February: Cavan v Sligo, Leitrim v Lancashire, Fermanagh bye

Sunday 18 February: Fermanagh v Leitrim, Lancashire v Cavan, Sligo bye

Sunday 25 February: Cavan v Fermanagh, Sligo v Lancashire, Leitrim bye

Sunday 4 March: Fermanagh v Sligo, Leitrim v Cavan, Lancashire bye

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