We’ll be putting our Connacht and All-Ireland U21 titles on the line soon enough, with this year’s championship having got underway over the past few weeks. Indeed, Kerry have already been eliminated by Clare in Munster (yippeee!) and, as this is an old-style one-loss-and-you’re-out championship, they’re out of the reckoning. So too are the Dubs in Leinster. I’m kinda sorry to see the Dubs go because after last year’s epic Senior semi-final, it would be nice to get into the habit of kicking their holes on a regular basis.
We’re likely to have a similar start to the U21 campaign as we have at Senior level. Galway must first dispense with Leitrim at home on Paddy’s Day but, assuming they do, we play them away on 31st March. There’s no word yet about where this will be or what time the throw-in is but, no doubt, all will be revealed nearer the date. Sligo are at home to the Rossies in the other semi-final on the same day.
A new dedicated website for the U21 championship was launched yesterday by the tournament sponsor, Cadbury, and this provides plenty of information on fixtures/results etc. There doesn’t appear to be any date fixed yet for the Connacht final but the All-Ireland semi-final (where the Connacht champions play their Munster counterparts) is set for 21st April, with the final on Friday (why dah?) 4th May.
With no back-door, this could be a short campaign but it would provide the perfect lead-in to the Senior championship if the lads could repeat the heroics of last year.