BY TOM LYONS
THE GAA club playing season is with us again and this weekend marks the start of action in Carbery as the Dubliner Cheese Carbery-Beara Football Leagues get underway.
There are five divisions in the league and the top three, Divisions 1, 2 and 3, begin this weekend.
Division 1 (10 teams): Kilmacabea, St Colum’s, Ballinascarthy, Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh, Kilmeen, St James’, St Oliver Plunkett’s, Clonakilty, Castlehaven, Clann na nGael
Division 2 (9): St Mary’s, Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas, Muintir Bháire, Urhan, Carbery Rangers, Dohenys, O’Donovan Rossa, Goleen, Ilen Rovers
Division 3 (10): Kilbrittain, Barryroe, Argideen Rangers, Bandon, Bantry Blues, Randal Óg, Gabriel Rangers, Clonakilty, Kilmacabea, St Colum’s.
This season, the leagues will take on extra significance as league and championship positions for the 2019 and 2020 seasons will dictate the gradings for the new football championships in 2021.
The defending champions in Division 1 are Kilmacabea, who will be going for three-in-a-row, having done the double championship/league in 2017 and 2018. Their first outing will be a home fixture against last season’s beaten league finalists, St Colum’s.
Promoted Castlehaven, winners of Division 2 last season, face a tough opener when they travel to play Ballinascarthy while an interesting encounter sees Clann na nGael – also promoted – hosting Clonakilty, who have re-graded back to junior from intermediate.
The Division 3 champions from 2018, Goleen, will travel to play Dohenys in Division 2 while Ilen Rovers, also promoted, will host Muintir Bháire. Relegated from Division 1, Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas will travel to play Carbery Rangers, while St Mary’s, who were also relegated, must travel to Skibbereen to play O’Donovan Rossa. The highest ranked Beara team in the leagues, Urhan, have a bye this weekend.
In Division 3, Clonakilty, who are up from Division 4, will host Gabriel Rangers and the also-promoted Kilmacabea, will have a tough task away to Kilbrittain’s first team, who were relegated from Division 2. Also relegated, Barryroe, will travel to play Bantry Blues.
While Sunday at 3pm is the official time for all games, some clubs will be playing two games over the weekend and games may have to be switched. Supporters should always check with the local club for the correct time of games.
Clubs are also asked to advertise their games on club websites, Twitter, club notes, club notice boards and so on.
Dubliner Cheese Carbery/Beara Football Leagues, weekend February 2nd/3rd (first team has home venue)
Division 1: Ballinascarthy v Castlehaven, Clann na nGael v Clonakilty, Kilmacabea v St Colum’s, St James’ v St Oliver Plunkett’s, Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh v Kilmeen
Division 2: Carbery Rangers v Diarmuid Ó Mathúnas, Dohenys v Goleen, Ilen Rovers v Muintir Bháire (at Rath), O’Donovan Rossa v St Mary’s.
Division 3: Argideen Rangers v Bandon, Bantry Blues v Barryroe, Clonakilty v Gabriel Rangers, Kilbrittain v Kilmacabea, Randal Óg v St Colum’s.