| 9°C Dublin

'Milk, sliced pan and two Hill tickets'

GAA FANS will be able to 'shop and go' to matches this summer as new ticket vending machines are about to be installed in selected Centra and Supervalu shops around the country.

The two companies are major sponsors of the All-Ireland hurling and football championships respectively. After trialling the system in four stores for Dublin's 'Spring Series', the new ticketing machines will be rolled out across selected counties this summer.

All the usual outlets for tickets will still be available but this will be a more immediate solution for some fans and it will let supporters buy and print their tickets.

The machines are not expected to be able to handle reduced-price tickets which have become increasingly popular and amounted to 25pc of Leinster Council's attendances last summer.

Leinster's ticket prices have remained static for the last five years but they have just announced an additional discount package this summer which will allow groups of adults (minimum 15, maximum 50) to avail of a 'club' discount that could save them up to one third on championship ticket prices.

Adult group discount applications must be made by a GAA club member, through club channels, but not all of the group have to be members. The scheme is similar to the one Leinster already have in place for U-16s.

Munster and Ulster have frozen their ticket prices this summer but all provinces are now offering discount packages in a bid to maintain attendances this summer.

Antrim's footballers will be without both of the McGourtys (Kevin and CJ) and defender Andy McClean, but do have full-back Michael McCann back from injury for tomorrow's Ulster SFC opener against Donegal. Manager Liam Bradley has given championship debuts to four players: goalkeeper Sean O'Neill, full-back Ricky Johnston and wing-forwards Conor Murray and Mark Sweeney.

Donegal have not won their opening game in Ulster since beating Armagh in 2007, but that coincided with them winning a league title that season, which they also did this year in Division 2.

Irish Independent