The draw for the new-look Claregalway Hotel/Bon Secours Senior and Intermediate Football Championship took place on Thursday evening as the local format took a radical change.
Following years of a knock-out tournament with a back-door element, the football competitions in the top two tiers will have a round-robin format before entering the quarter-final stages.
Twenty teams were drawn in four groups for the Senior Championship with defending champions Corofin joined together with 2017 intermediate winners Claregalway in Group One. St. James,’ Cortoon Shamrocks and An Cheathru Rua complete the set.
Last year’s runners-up Mountbellew/Moylough are in Group Three where they’ll face Kilconly, Naomh Anna Leitir Moir, Killererin and Caherlistrane. And in Group Four, Monivea/Abbey, St. Michael’s, Moycullen, Caltra and Milltown will compete for the two quarter-final spots.
The Group of Death is without doubt Group Two. Annaghdown, who came very close to dislodging Corofin, in 2017 after being paired up with both Tuam Stars and Salthill/Knocknacarra. Barna and Killannin will be hoping to spring a shock.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals where an open draw involving no repeat pairings will take place. The bottom team from the four sections will compete in the relegation play-offs.
They’ll be joined by two of the fourth placed sides who will have two play-offs with losers fighting for survival. Three teams are being relegated in 2018 and two groups of three will determine who remains senior and who joins intermediate.
The group winners will survive, the bottom teams will be relegated, and the two second placed sides will play-off to avoid the drop.
The intermediate championship contains 16 teams and will have four groups of four with the top two reaching the quarter-finals.
Last year’s runners-up Williamstown will face Oranmore/Maree, Glenamaddy and Menlough. Relegated Micheal Breathnach are up against An Spideal, Oughterard and St. Brendan’s.
Kilkerrin/Clonberne’s opponents are Clifden, Athenry and Dunmore MacHales. And the final group sees Oileain Arann, Headford, St. Gabriel’s and Carna-Cashel.
— Cian O'Connell (@oconnc62) February 22, 2018
2018 Claregalway Hotel/Bon Secours Senior Football Championship Draw:
Group One – Corofin, Claregalway, St. James,’ Cortoon Shamrocks, An Cheathru Rua
Group Two – Annaghdown, Tuam Stars, Barna, Killannin, Salthill/Knocknacarra
Group Three – Mountbellew/Moylough, Kilconly, Naomh Anna Leitir Moir, Killererin, Caherlistrane
Group Four – Monivea/Abbey, St. Michael’s, Moycullen, Caltra, Milltown.
2018 Claregalway Hotel/Bon Secours Intermediate Football Championship Draw:
Group One – Williamstown, Oranmore/Maree, Glenamaddy, Menlough
Group Two – Micheal Breathnach, An Spideal, Oughterard, St. Brendan’s
Group Three – Kilkerrin/Clonberne, Clifden, Athenry, Dunmore MacHales
Group Four – Oileain Arann, Headford, St. Gabriel’s, Carna-Cashel