GAA Football

Championship format to be unveiled with National League resumption to get green light

Let the action commence. The GAA will announce their Championship plans today Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile.

THE GAA’s League and Championship plans for the latter part of 2020 – the country’s worst-kept secret – will be unveiled this morning at a press conference in Croke Park.

As anticipated, the provincial Championships in football are to be retained - rather than the mooted open draw – with knock-out games through to the final.

The four provincial winners will advance to the All-Ireland semi-finals with the final chalked in for December 13. The inter-county action gets underway in mid-October with the final two rounds of National League games expected to be played before the Championship commences.

That means Armagh will get their chance to nail promotion to Division One for the first time in Kieran McGeeney’s reign with Roscommon and Clare the outstanding fixtures for the Orchard County.

Geezer’s men were odds-on to land promotion after a series of excellent displays – but the pandemic is a serious momentum breaker for those teams in promotion contention.

Down and Derry have still designs on getting out of Division Three this year to book their place in next season’s Tier One Championship, while the Antrim footballers hope to break out of the basement after a three-year stay.

In hurling, Antrim will get the chance to face Division Two promotion play-off opponents Kerry before entering the Joe McDonagh Cup at the end of October, while the Munster and Leinster SHC draws are expected to be made tomorrow evening at 6pm.

Meanwhile, GAA fans can expect a treat with TG4 and RTE going all out to screen a host of matches from the club championships around the country.

With action now resuming on July 17 in all parts of the island after the Stormont Executive followed in the south’s footsteps yesterday, TG4 will have first and second picks, with RTE keen to maximise their output.

"Remember, all this at the minute is still predicated on the ‘R’ rating and virus being kept under control," cautioned Antrim boss Lenny Harbinson.

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GAA Football