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Dublin: 6°C Friday 14 May 2021

Dublin and Kerry footballers to meet again in Thurles as fixtures released for National Leagues

The All-Ireland champions and The Kingdom will reunite at Semple Stadium 20 years on from a famous clash.

Sean O'Shea is charged down by John Small during the 2019 All-Ireland final replay.
Sean O'Shea is charged down by John Small during the 2019 All-Ireland final replay.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE GAA THIS afternoon released fixtures for the Allianz hurling and football leagues, with reigning All-Ireland hurling champions Limerick beginning their season in just over two weeks’ time and the long-reigning Dubs in action when the football begins a week later.

The Limerick hurlers will play Tipperary in the LIT Gaelic Grounds at 5:30pm on Saturday 8 May. Elsewhere in Division 1A on that same weekend, Westmeath will play Galway and Cork will play Waterford while, in 1B, Dublin will play Kilkenny, Wexford will play Laois, and Antrim will play Clare.

The football will throw in on Saturday 15 May when Kerry host Galway at Austin Stack Park at 3pm, while Tyrone will play neighbours and fierce rivals Donegal in Healy Park at 5pm. The Dubs travel to Roscommon the following day, with throw-in at Dr Hyde Park set for 1:45pm.

Dublin have forfeited a home game as a result of their recent breach of Covd restrictions and so their showdown with Kerry on Sunday 23 May (1:45pm) will instead take place in Thurles, 20 years on from a famous championship encounter between the two footballing powers at the home of hurling.

Cork, who have been received the same punishment for a breach back in January, will also make the trip to Semple Stadium to face Kildare in Division 2 South on the opening day (3:30pm).

The two other counties who were found to have broken the ban on collective training, Monaghan and Down, have also ceded home advantage for their clashes with Armagh (Brewster Park, Eniskillen, 16 May, 3pm) and Meath (Armagh Athletic Grounds, 23 May, 3:45pm) respectively.

British-based teams will not be involved in the Allianz Leagues this year. The London and Warwickshire hurlers will start 2022 in Divisions 2B and 3A respectively, with Lancashire beginning next year in 3B.

The full Allianz League schedule is available on the GAA website and can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Hurling league format

There will be no Division 1 hurling league quarter-finals, semi-finals, or final this season. There will either be joint winners or, if the teams that win 1A and 1B meet in the championship, that fixture would double as a Division 1 final.

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The Division 1 relegation play-off will be played as curtain raiser to one of the senior hurling championship semi-finals in August.

There will also be no finals in Divisions 2 or 3, with the top team in each to be crowned champions. The bottom team in Divisions 2A, 2B and 3A will be relegated.

Football league format

The football league divisions will be split into North and South as was originally planned in December.

Each group will consist of four teams based on geography, and each team will play three round-robin games. The top two in each divisional group will advance to semi-finals which will be followed a final. However, those finals, currently scheduled for 19/20 June, will only be played in the event that the counties involved are not playing in the championship the following weekend. In that case, joint winners will be declared for Division 1 while finalists from Divisions 2, 3, and 4 will also be declared joint winners and gain promotion.

The bottom two in each divisional group will play relegation semi-finals with the two losers of those matches relegated. The bottom teams in Division 4 will play a shield semi-final and final, the latter of which will again only be played if the teams involved don’t have championship fixtures the following weekend.

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