2021 Joe McDonagh Cup Preview

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After the draws for each of the annual GAA Hurling competitions for the Christy Ring, Joe McDonagh and Lory Meagher cup’s were made in April.

The start of each competition starts this coming weekend, with the Joe McDonagh Cup, after the COVID-19 Pandemic caused a delay until October 2020.

Antrim were crowned champions after defeating Kerry 1-17 to 0-22 in Dublin in December. last year.

Format

  • The 2021 Joe McDonagh cup (Tier 2) will be structured on a ’round-robin’ basis with each team playing each other home and away.
  • There are two groups, Group A consists of 3 teams and Group B with 3 teams.
  • The winner of Group A and Group B will play against one another in the final, with the winner gaining entry into the Leinster Hurling Championship the following year.
  • The bottom team in Group A and Group B will play against one another in a relegation playoff to determine who drops down to the Christy Ring Cup (Tier 3) in 2022.

Group A

Group A consists of three teams, Carlow, Kildare and Westmeath.

Carlow

Tom Mullally was brought in as manager in January 2021, along with selectors Chris Kealy, Joe Nolan and Pat Murphy as part of his backroom staff.

They had a successful league campaign, only finishing behind Offaly in second place.

The fighting cocks last won the title in 2018 with a winning effort against Westmeath at Croke Park.

First Game: Away v Kildare
Kildare

The Lilywhites had a great league campaign, winning all four games and remaining unbeaten.

Boasting an outrageous point difference of +77, they are looking like a strong outfit.

They are coming off the back of winning the Christy Ring Cup after beating down last year.

First Game: Home v Carlow
Westmeath

After a stinker league campaign, finishing bottom of their respective group, losing all 5 games.

Getting whitewashed in all of their games against tough opposition.

Heading into this, they will be one of the favourites.

First Game: Away v Carlow
Round 1 
Kildare v Carlow
Round 2
Carlow v Westmeath
Round 3
Westmeath v Kildare

 

Group B

Group B consists of three teams, Down, Kerry and Meath.

Down

Losing finalists during the 2020 Christy Ring Cup, Down will be looking to go one better this term around.

They had a decent league run, finishing third.

First Game: Away v Kerry

Kerry

Finishing runner up in last years final, losing to Antrim by 2 points, the Kingdom will be back for redemption.

2020 was their first final appearance, and they would be confident to finish the job come July.

First Game: Home v Kerry

 

Meath

After finishing second in Division 2 a few weeks ago, Meath is looking out of their depth this season.

If they are to put up a good showing, they will hope to start off on a positive note.

First Game: Away v Down

 

Round 1
Kerry v Down
Round 2
Down v Meath
Round 3
Meath v Kerry

Predictions

Winners: Kildare

Relegation: Meath

 

 

 

 

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