The Ireland West Connacht Hurling League gets underway this weekend, with all four quarter-finals taking place.
Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo will field their county senior teams, along with the college teams from NUIG, GMIT and Sligo IT.
The competition is completed by a Galway Development team, “Maroon Stars”, which features some of the most promising young players from the county, including minor sensation Joe Canning and Under-21 All-Ireland winning hero Kerrill Wade.
The Maroon Stars will meet GMIT at Pearse Stadium on Saturday, with Sligo IT taking on Roscommon, Leitrim facing NUIG and Mayo clashing with Sligo.
The Connacht Council have instructed that extra-time will be played if games finish level. According to Connacht Council secretary, John Prenty, games which finish level at the end of extra-time will be won by the first team to score in the next period.
“The tie will be won by the team that gets the next score, regardless whether it is a goal or a point,” Prenty explained.
The semi-finals are scheduled for the following week, with the final to be decided on January 29.
Meanwhile Ger “Redser” O’Grady is the new Tipperary senior hurling captain.
A member of the Thurles Sarsfields Club, O’Grady was the unanimous choice of the club following their county triumph in 2005, their first in 31 years.
Drafted into the county squad by the former coach Ken Hogan, O’Grady never started a championship game last year but did make a big impression when introduced. He played a major role in Sars’ county triumph in 2005, and went on to led his team to the Munster Club final against Newtownshandrum.
O’Grady’s appointment will be a popular choice in the county, and he has developed something of a cult following amount the youth. He must now convince new manager Michael “Babs” Keating that he has what it takes to be a first team regular.
Jimmy Duggan was the last Thurles Sarsfields player to captain Tipperary. He was accorded the honour after Sars won the 1974 title. He played in goal in the 1975 Munster championship.