At last night’s county board meeting at Nemo Rangers, delegates approved the motion to increase the number of teams from the current eight, comprising seven divisional winners and Beara.
Five teams from Seandun will feature – Bishopstown, Douglas, Nemo Rangers, St Finbarr’s, and St Michael’s, as well as the four Carbery semi-finalists, the Muskerry and Carrigdhoun finalists (Carrigaline and Valley Rovers, in the latter case) and one each from Avondhu and Imokilly, with Beara continuing to enter a divisional side.
Finalising county championship first-round ties took up much of the rest of the meeting’s focus.
Meanwhile, the Cork football management are still waiting to discover the seriousness of Brian Hurley’s hamstring injury.
Having missed most of last year, the Castlehaven forward suffered a recurrence in Sunday’s Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 FL loss to Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh and is unlikely to feature for the remainder of the league.
“He took a knock. We don’t know the extent of it yet,” said Cork selector Eoin O’Neill.
“He’s going for a scan and we’ll have to see what the results of that are in the next few days.
“We have our fingers crossed for Brian. On a personal level, you’d be very disappointed for him, as he worked so hard to get back to full fitness after last year’s injury.”
In addition to Hurley, Cork will be without Eoin Cadogan, who is almost at full fitness, having resumed training with the panel and featured in the league for his club Douglas.
Cadogan’s clubmate Seán Powter, John Mullins of Éire Óg, and Gary Murphy of Castletownbere had been with Peadar Healy’s senior squad, but are now just concentrating on the U21 panel ahead of tonight’s championship opener against Limerick.
Elsewhere, Cork and Midleton hurler Luke O’Farrell is hoping to use Friday morning’s RedFM SHL clash against Killeagh to help him build his fitness ahead of the last Allianz HL clash with Tipperary and a potential quarter-final or relegation play-off.
The Magpies will be able to call on their Cork contingent and O’Farrell is looking forward to seeing how they perform with a full complement, having won their first two games against Glen Rovers and Youghal.
“Everybody targets these weekends to see how everybody gels together,” he told RedFM’s Lisa Lawlor at the competition’s official launch.
“It’s great, especially for the likes of myself, coming back from injury. I haven’t really played much in the league, only 10 minutes.
“It’s a great opportunity, I can’t wait to go back a play a full game, so it’s very beneficial from that point of view. Everybody likes going back to the club and giving it their all.
“It was three or four niggly things I had, which was quite frustrating. I’m just looking forward to getting back now and getting the head down and hopefully going injury-free for a while.”