January may not be over yet, but the appetite for summer action in the club championship was whet in Westmeath with the draw for the first rounds of the football club championships on Wednesday night.
The two groups for the divisional rounds of the senior championship have pitted last year’s champions Garrycastle alongside Bunbrosna, Coralstown/Kinnegad, Castledaly, Kilucan, and Tyrrellspass. The first round of action in division one will get underway with what should be a cracker of a game. Garrycastle will host Tyrrellspass whom they beat at the semi-final stage of the competition. Coralstown/Kinnegad, who won the intermediate title last year will make the trip to Bunbrosna. The last game in the opening round of division one sees Castledaly and Kilucan go toe to toe in Kilucan.
In division two of the senior championship last year’s beaten finalists Mullingar Shamrocks will take on St Loman’s in the first round; Shamrocks took Garrycastle to a replay in last year’s final before the ‘Castle men won out en route to claiming the Lenister title. This meeting of the two neighbouring clubs promises to be a cracker, both sides met at the semi-final last year with Shamrocks coming out winners by only three points.
Athlone will host The Downs, with St Malachy’s making the trip to Maryland in the last game in the opening round of the senior championship.
In the intermediate championship, last year’s beaten semi-finalists Tang will open up their campaign with a trip to Tubberclair. Last year’s junior champions Garrycastle B will get life in the intermediate championship when Milltownpass come to pay a visit. The final game in the opening round of division one will see Caulry make the trip to Ballynacargy.
Division two of the intermediate championship opens up with Castletown/Finea/Coole/Whitehall who made it to last year’s final only to go down by a single point in the decider take on St Mary Rochfortbridge in the first game. Rosemount and Shandonagh will also meet on the opening day along with Ballinagor and Ballymore. With a few months yet to go before the first ball is thrown in for the championship and teams only hitting the training fields over the last couple of weeks, this week’s draw fixes a target firmly in every side’s mind for the summer.