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Cork board finalises club championship fixture plan as restart looms

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'Cork will only commence their first round of championships on July 24-26' (stock photo)

'Cork will only commence their first round of championships on July 24-26' (stock photo)

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'Cork will only commence their first round of championships on July 24-26' (stock photo)

Cork GAA have fixed their senior hurling and football finals for the weekend of October 2-4 after Friday's confirmation that their hurlers won't be in action until a Munster semi-final, against Waterford.

Only in the event of a clash for a dual club - in the latter stages of a championship - will a final revert to the following weekend, October 9-11, which is the last available date prior to the commencement of the inter-county season.

Cork are among the last to finalise their local fixture plan, but as the county with the biggest range of clubs and divisions, compressing 400 teams and 6,000 players into a 13-week window was quite challenging, especially when divisions had to be accommodated.

Cork will only commence their first round of championships on July 24-26, the second available weekend because of crowd capacity and availability of changing rooms.

Bidding

Current hurling champions Imokilly are bidding for a historic four-in-a-row, so being able to integrate the divisions into both championships was of paramount importance.

Both Cork flagship championships have retained their group stages with three groups of four providing a minimum of three games.

The top two in each group will advance to the play-offs where they will be joined by the winners of the colleges and divisional section.

One of the three group winners will progress straight to a senior semi-final while the other six teams will play three quarter-finals.

In all other championships, two out of the three group winners will go straight to a semi-final with one other group winner and three runners-up qualifying at quarter-final stage.

Cork have inserted a free weekend for clubs on August 21-23 when the divisional/colleges finals will be played to determine who advances to the senior quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, the draw for the Kerry football championship was made last night and pits champions East Kerry against Feale Rangers in the opening round.

There's a couple of rival town derbies with Dr Crokes, last year's beaten finalists, drawing Tralee's Austin Stacks, while Killarney rivals Legion will play another Tralee team, Kerins O'Rahillys.

The 2019 IFC winners Templenoe play Dingle in their opening round.

Kerry aims to play its SFC final on the weekend of September 26/27 with the hurling final on the previous weekend, September 19/20.

The first round of the Kerry championship will take place on August 22/23 with the semi-finals on September 12/13.

Irish Independent