Sligo hurlers hoping to repeat Celtic Challenge win
Sligo's U17 hurlers will be getting their Celtic Challenge campaign underway tomorrow against Galway Tribesmen with high hopes to once again retain silverware for the Yeats county.
The young hurlers won the Michael Feery Cup in the Celtic Challenge last year when they defeated Donegal 3-12 to 2-8 in Tullamore.
The competition, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, has been going from strength to strength since its formation four years ago.
Sligo's Fionn Moylan joined fellow inter-county players gearing up for the contest which begins in May and concludes in June. Sligo start their campaign tomorrow, May 1st with Galway Tribesmen in Bekan. Then on May 8th they play Mayo in the same venue. On May 15th they face Donegal also in Bekan with the same venue hosting Sligo and Roscommon a week later. Sligo then play Leitrim in round 5 in Carrick-on-Shannon on June 5th. For 2019, a total of 44 teams from all 32 counties will take part across eight groups. The teams include a mixture of county teams as well as sides that represent regions from within counties e.g. Galway McDonagh and East Cork.
After an initial round robin group phase of matches, teams will be graded on their performance and will then be assigned to one of six Divisions for the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals where again they will compete against teams of a similar level of ability.
The six Divisional finals will be played on Saturday, June 29th at Bord na Móna O'Connor Park in Tullamore. The cups have been dedicated to the memory of Michael Hogan (age 24), John William Scott (age 14), William Robinson (age 11), Jerome O'Leary (age 10), Michael Feery (aged 40) and Tom Hogan (aged 21) six of the victims from among the 14 people shot and killed on Bloody Sunday at Croke Park on November 21st, 1920. The trophies and medals have been kindly sponsored by the Past Hurlers' Association.
The full list of the 44 teams taking part in the Celtic Challenge 2019 is: Sligo, Galway Maroon. Galway McDonagh, Galway Tribesmen, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Carlow, Dublin Clarke, Dublin Plunkett, Kildare Lily White's, Kildare Cadets, Kilkenny Amber, Kilkenny Black, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow Blue, Wicklow Gold, Cork City, East Cork, North Cork, West Cork, Kerry, Limerick Treaty, Limerick Sarsfields, Clare Blues, Clare Saffrons, Tipperary Blue, Tipperary Gold, Waterford, Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, Donegal, Monaghan, Tyrone.