GAA Football

Ulster GAA chiefs hope minor championship will be completed before end of 2020

Ulster GAA secretary Brian McAvoy hopes the Ulster MFC can be played before the end of 2020 - but says it could end up taking place at the start of next year. Picture by Hugh Russell
Neil Loughran

ULSTER GAA chiefs remain hopeful that this year’s minor football championship will be completed before the end of 2020 – although it could end up being played in the early part of 2021.

The GAA yesterday confirmed that, as of midnight last night, U20 and minor inter-county competitions will pause "until further notice" after the Irish government moved to level five restrictions in dealing with Covid-19.

As a result, the U20 football Championship final meeting between Dublin - conquerors of Tyrone last weekend - and Galway will not take place, scheduled for Saturday, will not take place until a later date.

It is a bitter blow too for the eight counties remaining in the Ulster MFC, which got under way last Saturday when Monaghan defeated Cavan in the preliminary round. All four quarter-finals were slated for Saturday, with the Farney due to face Antrim, Derry taking on Armagh, Donegal up against Tyrone and Fermanagh taking on Down.

However, the competition has been paused with immediate effect, and Ulster GAA secretary Brian McAvoy says the provincial body will “take stock” of the situation towards the end of next month.

“We could easily say we’ll play it in December, but there could be more measures in December,” he said.

“We’ll just take stock of the situation in the latter part of November and see exactly where we are. It’s a big shock to us all, but that’s what Covid does.

“Never mind planning months in advance, you can hardly plan a day in advance. You become battle-hardened, and you just know there has to be flexibility built into everything you do.”

On the possibility of the minor Championship running into 2021, McAvoy added: “It doesn’t have to be this calendar year… it can go into next year.”

Meanwhile, the GAA confirmed its Central Competitions Control Committee has now been informed that Longford will not be fulfilling their National Football League fixture with Cork this weekend, confirming Down’s promotion to Division Two.

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GAA Football