Farrell's Ratoath to face Nobber in SFC opener
Defending Keegan Cup champions Ratoath will begin the defence of the SFC crown against last year's IFC champions Nobber after the draws were made today for the 2020 competition at Pairc Tailteann.
Brian Farrell, who inspired Nobber to the IFC crown in 2019 is now at the helm in Ratoath and that will add a little extra dimension to the first round game.
With club fixtures now permitted from Friday 17th July it will provide an opportunity for some A FL action ahead of championship action.
The earlier date for club action arises following changes to the return to activity guidelines after recommendations from the Covid-19 Advisory Committee last Friday.
The changes were subsequently endorsed by the GAA, the Camogie Association and the Ladies GFA and will provide some extra dates for planning fixture schedules.
A condensed format for 2020 that will see the action throw-in over the August Bank Holiday weekend (Friday 31st July - Monday 3rd August).
For Ratoath, who claimed a first Keegan Cup last October with a 3-15 to 2-13 victory against Summerhill, the challenge will be to make it two-in-a-row.
Beaten finalists Summerhill, the current holders of the Feis Cup, will open their campaign against neighbours Moynalvey in a group that also contains Curraha and Wolfe Tones.
This year the SFC comprises 16 teams in four groups of four with three round robin games.
Each group winner will progress to the semi-finals while the bottom team in each group will contest a relegation semi-final with the losers contesting the relegation final, loser relegated to IFC.
The Keegan Cup final will be played on Sunday 4th October with the MFC decider as a curtainraiser.
The IFC and JFC finals will take place on Saturday 3rd October.
The inter-county window after Sunday 11th October could be used for other club competitions depending on weather and fixtures and there is also a possibility that the club hurling championships will now start on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July.
Group A - Curraha v Wolfe Tones; Summerhill v Moynalvey.
Group B - Navan O'Mahonys v Donaghmore / Ashbourne; Na Fianna v Seneschalstown.
Group C - Simonstown Gaels v Skryne; Ratoath v Nobber.
Group D - Dunboyne v Dunshaughlin; St Colmcille's v Gaeil Colmcille.
The IFC consists of five groups of four, three round robin games, each group winner into knock-out phase, one quarter-final and then semi-finals, bottom team in each group in relegation play-offs (knock-out), loser relegated to JFC.
Group A - Bective v Drumbaragh; Trim v Rathkenny.
Group B - St Michael's v St Patrick's; Walterstown v Moylagh.
Group C - Dunderry v Kilmainham; Blackhall Gaels v Castletown.
Group D - Oldcastle v Syddan; Ballinabrackey v Duleek / Bellewstown.
Group E - Longwood v Meath Hill; Ballinlough v Clann na nGael.
The JFC consists of three groups of four, one group of three, group winners into semi-finals, no relegation.
Group A - Dunsany v St Mary's; Kilbride v Drumconrath.
Group B - Carnaross v Clonard; Boardsmill v Ballivor.
Group C - Slane v Cortown; St Vincent's v Moynalty.
Group D - St Brigid's v Kilmainhamwood; St Ultan's (bye).
Div 1A - Summerhill v Dunboyne; Gaeil Colmcille v Duleek / Bellewstown.
Div 1B - Dunshaughlin v Skryne; Ratoath v St Colmcille's.
First round - 31st July / 1st / 2nd/ 3rd August
Second round - 15th / 16th August
Third round - 29th / 30th August
Knock-out - 12th September
Knock-out - 19th / 20th September
Finals - 3rd October - IFC and JFC.
Finals - 4th October - SFC and MFC.