Ladies football campaigns set to be delayed

The Munster and Ulster ladies football championships will not be run off across May and June, as scheduled, while it is becoming increasingly likely the new All-Ireland ladies football championship structure will be shelved until 2021.
Ladies football campaigns set to be delayed
It is becoming increasingly likely the new All-Ireland ladies football championship structure will be shelved until 2021. File picture.

The Munster and Ulster ladies football championships will not be run off across May and June, as scheduled, while it is becoming increasingly likely the new All-Ireland ladies football championship structure will be shelved until 2021.

On the camogie front, the association will this morning confirm the postponement of their All-Ireland championship. Camogie’s flagship competition was due to throw-in on the second weekend of June. Top-brass accept this start date is no longer feasible.

It is likely the association, following the lead of the GAA, will identify July as the earliest possible start to camogie championship action.

It remains to be seen if the format of the All-Ireland camogie championship will be reworked or left untouched.

Currently, the 11 counties are split into two groups, which are to be run off on a round-robin basis.

Factor in the subsequent quarters, semis, and final, and it means eight weekends are needed to complete the championship.

The Camogie association is also expected to give an indication today as to whether their national league competitions will be finished or declared null and void. The LGFA decided at the end of March to cancel the remaining rounds of the Lidl National League.

Although official confirmation has yet to be circulated by the Munster and Ulster LGFA branches with regard to the playing of their provincial competitions over the next two months, leading officials in both provinces yesterday said games will not go ahead as planned.

In Munster, Kerry and Waterford were to meet in the semi-final on the weekend of May 23/24, with holders Cork taking on All-Ireland intermediate champions Tipperary a week later. Neither of those penultimate round clashes will go ahead as scheduled. The June 21 decider has also been pushed back indefinitely.

The six-team Ulster senior championship, which includes intermediate-graded Down, was scheduled to begin on the weekend of May 16/17, with the final fixed for June 20.

Dublin being the sole senior county in Leinster meant 2020 was always going to pass without a Leinster championship taking place. The Connacht championship, meanwhile, is a straight final between Galway and Mayo.

This fixture typically takes place in late June. And while the two counties will not be renewing acquaintances any time soon, it is a game which could be accommodated at a later date.

The respective provincial winners were to be seeded for the new-look All-Ireland series which will consist of two groups of six.

But given all 12 counties will be included in the two groups irrespective of their provincial championship results, there is a strong chance the provincial championships may be sacrificed if there is a return to activity later on this year.

A spokesperson for the LGFA yesterday accepted this was a possibility. The spokesperson added that if the LGFA are left with a very limited timeframe in which to run off their All-Ireland senior championship, the new format may have to be reviewed.

“No decisions have been taken with regard to championship structures. There have been no changes.”

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