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Fixtures impasse sees North Tipperary clubs opt out of U21A semi-finals

Brian McDonnell

Reporter:

Brian McDonnell

Email:

bmcdonnell@tipperarystar.ie

Fixtures impasse sees North Tipperary clubs opt out of U21A semi-finals

Thurles Sarsfields captain Kevin Dunne pictured accepting the Mid Tipperary under-21A hurling championship trophy from Mid Board chairman Joe Kennedy and Mid Board secretary Sally Young.

Unfortunately and as matters stand the North Tipperary division will not be represented in next Sunday's Tipperary Water County Under-21A Hurling Championship semi-finals.

Despite the fact that the North Tipperary champions are scheduled to take on the South representatives in a county under-21A hurling semi-final on Sunday in Boherlahan the North Board have fixed their divisional semi-finals on the same day.

On Sunday the North Tipp U21A semi-finals between Toomevara and Borris-Ileigh and Roscrea and Kilruane will take place in Templederry and Toomevara respectively (2pm).

Last week the remaining North clubs in the competition agreed not to nominate a club to represent the division in the county series while to complicate matters further Kiladangan have an appeal pending with regard to the circumstances surrounding their exit from the competition.

The South Board have progressed their series as far as the semi-final stage, but have opted to nominate Carrick Swan to represent the division. Carrick Swan still have to play a divisional semi-final against Killenaule while St Mary's Clonmel await in the decider. If the North division do not nominate a representative Carrick Swan progress to the final. Meanwhile on Saturday Cappawhite-Sean Treacy's will face Thurles Sarsfields in Golden (2pm) in an eagerly-anticipated county under-21A semi-final.

It is ironic that such an impasse would materialise the week preceding a County Board meeting which will take place on November 29th - the focus of that meeting is to provide a forum for delegates to discuss fixtures and competition structures.

Happily, the under-21B hurling semi-finals should progress on November 27th next when Ballinahinch-Templederry face Grangemockler-Ballyneale in Cashel and Cashel King Cormacs take on Gortnahoe- Glengoole or Thurles Sarsfields in Fethard (the Mid under-21B final is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 23rd).

Looking forward to next weekend Holycross will host the Tipperary Water Junior A Hurling Championship final when Kiladangan take on favourites Ballybacon-Grange on Sunday, November 27th at 2pm. Ballybacon-Grange will be fancied on paper to win this one, but there is a terrific spirit coursing through the Kiladangan club at the minute and the North champions should not be discounted. Meanwhile on Sunday Upperchurch-Drombane, the county junior B hurling champions, will take on Limerick's Murroe-Boher in a provincial tournament semi-final hosted by Killeedy GAA club.

MASTER FIXTURES

On Monday last the GAA's Central Competition Control Committee (CCCC) published the 2017 master fixtures schedule. This year there will be no football league semi-finals with the top two sides in each division qualifying for the final while the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the hurling league will have a winner on the day.

Tipp will launch their 2017 Allianz National Hurling League campaign away to Dublin on Saturday, February 11th - the game will form the first part of a double header at Croke Park, Dublin (5pm) when the Dubs will also face Tyrone (7pm) in the Football League. Tipp make a trip to Waterford on February 19th while Semple Stadium, Thurles will host a double header on Sunday, March 5th when the footballers host Louth (1pm) and the hurlers welcome Clare (3pm).

The most eye-catching fixture is, of course, the clash between Tipperary and Kilkenny at Semple Stadium on Saturday, March 11th under lights at 7pm. Tipp will complete the group phase of the league with a trip to Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday, March 26th. The quarter-finals of the league are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 2nd, the semi-finals on Sunday, April 16th and the final on Sunday, April 23rd.

The Tipp football team will launch their division three campaign with a home tie against Antrim in Clonmel on Sunday, February 5th.

A week later Sligo visit Thurles while on Saturday, February 25th Tipp take on Laois in Portlaoise at 7pm.

Liam Kearns’ men are on the road once more on March 19th away to Offaly in Tullamore before hosting Louth on Sunday, March 26th in Thurles. Tipperary’s final group game will be against Armagh in Armagh on Sunday, April 2nd while the final is scheduled for Saturday, April 8th.

RUGBY

The Ulster Bank League returns this weekend when Cashel RFC host Highfield in Division 2A on Saturday, November 26th at 2.30pm while Nenagh Ormond make the trip to Irish Independent Park (2pm) to face Sunday’s Well.

On Sunday, November 27th in division one of the Munster Junior League Clanwilliam host Skibbereen (2.30pm) and Clonmel are at home to Muskerry (2.30pm) while Kilfeacle & District are away to Old Christians (2.30pm).

In division two of the Munster Junior League high-flying Thurles RFC are away to Charleville (2.30pm).