Hurling & Camogie

New-look camogie league format sees Antrim and Down in top division

Antrim and Down open up their Division 1B campaigns with an Ulster derby on February 18
Antrim and Down open up their Division 1B campaigns with an Ulster derby on February 18

The Camogie Association yesterday released its fixture list for the upcoming National League competitions, that will be sponsored by Very and have a completely new format to the one in operation in recent years.

Division One has been graded into two groups of six counties with promotion and relegation in place. Division 1A will consist of Clare, Kilkenny, Cork, Dublin, Tipperary and Galway.

Down and Antrim will feature in Division 1B, meaning that the Saffrons, who lost Division Two finals in the past two seasons, have automatically progressed to a status that equates with their championship standing.

Waterford also move up, while Limerick, relegated from Division One back in April, feature in this group along with Wexford and Offaly.

Derry are one of six counties in Division 2A, the others being Cavan, Kerry, Laois, Meath and Westmeath with reserve teams of Division One counties appearing in Division 2B.

Armagh and Tyrone feature in Division Three A along with Mayo and Kildare while Three B will consist of Carlow, Roscommon, Louth and Wicklow.

Games in Division One A and B as well as Division 2A begin on February 18th. Division 2B begins a week later while Division Three hold off until the first weekend in March.

The Ulster derby is the first game in Division 1B with Antrim hosting Down. The Saffrons then travel to Limerick, the team that beat them in Corrigan Park in July to knock them out of the senior championship.

They are on the road again on March 4, to Offaly, before finishing with home games against Waterford and Wexford.

Down have just two home games, against Offaly on February 25 and then against Limerick a fortnight later. In between they have to travel down to Wexford and they complete their schedule on March 25 with a visit to Waterford.

After losing narrowly in the All-Ireland Intermediate championship in July, Derry will look to a decent league run under new manager PJ O’Mullan as they build up to this summer’s championship.

The Oak Leaf begin with an Ulster derby as well; Cavan will visit them on February 18. Then there are trips to Westmeath and Laois on successive weeks, before they host Kerry on March 11. Their group games end with a visit to Meath a fortnight later.

Cavan will have three home games – against Laois, Meath and Westmeath – with a trip to Kerry on March 4.

The Ulster teams in Division Three will be in action over the first three weekends of March.

Tyrone and Armagh both begin with home games, against Kildare and Mayo respectively. Then Armagh will travel to Kildare and Tyrone will make the journey west to Mayo. The Ulster derby at a Tyrone venue completes the programme.

The top two in each group will contest the final with the winner gaining promotion.

Very National Camogie Leagues

Div 1A

February 18: Clare v Kilkenny, Cork v Dublin, Tipperary v Galway; February 25: Cork v Clare, Dublin v Tipp, Kilkenny v Galway; March 4: Galway v Clare, Dublin v Kilkenny, Tipperary v Cork; March 18: Galway v Dublin, Tipperary v Clare, Kilkenny v Cork; March 25: Kilkenny v Tipperary, Clare v Dublin, Cork v Galway

Div 1B

February 18: Antrim v Down, Wexford v Limerick, Offaly v Waterford; February 25: Limerick v Antrim, Waterford v Wexford, Down v Offaly; March 4: Waterford v Limerick, Wexford v Down, Offaly v Antrim; March 11: Down v Limerick, Wexford v Offaly, Antrim v Waterford; March 25: Limerick v Offaly, Waterford v Down, Antrim v Wexford

Div 2A

February 18: Derry v Cavan, Kerry v Westmeath, Laois v Meath; February 25: Cavan v Laois, Meath v Kerry, Westmeath v Derry; March 4: Meath v Westmeath, Kerry v Cavan, Laois v Derry; March 11: Westmeath v Laois, Derry v Kerry, Cavan v Meath; March 25: Kerry v Laois; Cavan v Westmeath; Meath v Derry

Div 2B

February 25: Cork v Tipperary, Kilkenny v Galway; March 4: Galway v Wexford, Tipperary v Kilkenny; March 18: Cork v Galway, Wexford v Kilkenny; March 25: Kilkenny v Cork, Tipperary v Wexford; April 8: Galway v Tipperary, Wexford v Cork

Div 3A

Group 1: Armagh, Kildare, Mayo, Tyrone

Group 2: Carlow, Roscommon, Louth, Wicklow

March 4: Tyrone v Kildare; Armagh v Mayo; Wicklow v Roscommon; Louth v Carlow; March 11: Kildare v Armagh; Mayo v Tyrone; Carlow v Roscommon; Louth v Wicklow

March 18: Tyrone v Armagh; Mayo v Kildare; Wicklow v Carlow; Roscommon v Louth

Div 3B

February 25: Dublin v Offaly; Clare v Down; Limerick v Antrim; March 4: Down v Dublin, Offaly v Antrim, Clare v Limerick; March 18: Antrim v Clare, Down v Offaly, Dublin v Limerick; March 25: Down v Antrim, Clare v Dublin, Limerick v Offaly; April 8: Antrim v Dublin, Limerick v Down, Offaly v Clare