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Club Championships get underway 2016-04-12 08:02:00

Club Championships get underway

The road to a possible Croke Park appearance on Club Finals day gets underway in earnest this coming weekend with Round 1 of the various Castleisland Mart Club Championships down for decision. There are 28 games in all with 8 teams participating in the Senior Club Championship; the usual 16 teams at Intermediate level and then there 32 teams participating in the Premier Junior Qualifier. Games featuring Kerry senior players have been fixed for Saturday due to their involvement in the League Final a week later.

Senior Club Championship
This competition of course has taken on a whole new significance given that a team will be relegated from the Senior Football Championship based on their performance in the Club Championship.
The winners of this weekend’s quarter finals will go forward to the semi finals but the losers of the quarter finals will take part in a relegation playoff that will decide who is demoted to Intermediate status next season from the senior County championship. Rathmore and Dingle will have a dress rehearsal for their County Championship meeting later in the year while Legion and Kerins O’Rahillys renew rivalry having met at the same stage last year. Dr Crokes, who have been posting big scores in the County League, will be fancied to overcome neighbours Kilcummin while Austin Stacks will need no reminding that opponents Milltown –Castlemaine plunged the Tralee side into relegation trouble when the sides last met in the County Championship relegation playoff last November.

Intermediate Club Championship
This competition, given the fact that only eight club teams participate in the senior championship, remains one of the most competitive championships in the country, not to mind county level. This year it contains three teams relegated from senior status last year in St Michaels-Foilmore, Laune Rangers and Ardfert and all three face tough assignments with the All Ireland Intermediate winners of 2015, Ardfert, facing their counterparts from 2016, St Marys; Laune Rangers have An Ghaeltacht as visitors and St Michaels-Foilmore have a big local derby against Skellig Rangers. High flying Templenoe, unbeaten in their three games in Division 1 of the League, visit Glenflesk and it will be interesting to see how the Kenmare District side will fare this year. The winners of this year’s Intermediate championship will be promoted to senior status in 2017.

Premier Junior Championship Qualifier
The review of the County Championships recommended that the Junior and Novice Championships should be revamped with a Premier Junior Championship and a Junior Championship. This year’s competition therefore had to take cognisance of that so the Junior Championship teams of 2015 were drawn against the Novice Championship teams from last year in a Premier Junior Championship Qualifier with the sixteen winners progressing to the Premier Junior and the winners of that competition representing Kerry in the Munster Club Championship. The sixteen losers will go forward to the Junior Championship and the losers of that Junior Championship first round will take part in the Novice Championship which in effect, replaces the Novice “B” competition. It will be interesting to see this weekend if some of the 2015 Novice teams upset the form book; Lispole entertain Listowel Emmets, John Evans’ Fossa travel to Dromid, Cordal travel to Ballymac, Castlegregory have home venue against St Senans and Beale have home venue against Churchill. These are just some of the key games to keep an eye on.

Club Championships Round 2 Draw

The next round of the respective club championships and Round 1 of the Senior Club Relegation play-off will be played over the weekends of April 23rd and the May Bank Holiday weekend. In light of Kerry's involvement in the Allianz Football League Final - Fixtures for weekend April 23rd/24th will be played on Saturday April 23rd. Games that can be played on Sat April 23rd (ie not involving Kerry Senior Footballers) - will go ahead on this date and no postponement to the following weekend will be granted.
The draws for the Castleisland Mart Senior Club Semi Finals, Castleisland Mart Senior Club Relegation Play-offs Round 1, Castleisland Mart Intermediate Championship Qtr. Finals, Castleisland Mart Junior Premier Championship Round 1 and Castleisland Mart Junior Championship Round 1 will take place next Sunday evening (April 17th) just after the 5pm news on Kerry Radio.