Galway senior football championship kicks off under new format

This year's senior club football championship, which gets underway this weekend, has a new format with 18 teams divided into three groups of six.

The top two teams in each group progress to the quarter-finals, along with the third team from group two, which has two of last year's semi finalists (Corofin and Annaghdown ). The third placed team in groups one and three will face play-off for the final position in the quarter-finals. The teams finishing last in each group will automatically be relegated, and just one team will be promoted from intermediate to keep the new format to 16 teams from 2020 onwards.

Group 1

Salthill-Knocknacarra, Milltown, CLG Bhearna, St Michael's, Killererin, An Spideal.

Salthill and Milltown will renew their rivalry after last year’s quarter-finalwent to extra time after a replay. Both teams will be expected to get through the group based on their form from 2018.

Having been promoted in 2018 after winning the intermediate championship, An Spideal will look to consolidate their position in the senior ranks for 2020. An Spideal, along with the other three teams in the group, will all be quietly confident to at least advance to the play-off position for the final quarter final position.

This weekends fixtures:

Salthill-Knocknacarra v CLG An Bhearna, (Sat ) Moycullen 2.30pm

St Michael's v An Spideal, (Sat ) Moycullen 4.15pm

Milltown v Killererin, (Sat ) Tuam Stadium 7.30 pm

Group 2

aregalway, St James, Corofin

In group two it will be a huge shock if either Corofin or Annaghdown do not advance from this group. They have been two of the three stand-out teams in Galway over the last two years. Corofin will be red hot favourites to make it seven Frank Fox titles in a row, but they do have a number of players missing through injury, adding some confidence to Tuam's hopes of causing an upset at the weekend.

Claregalway and St James will look to build on a solid 2018. Tuam are still a team slightly in transition, but after a fine start to the year, the first couple of matches will tell more about how far Ja Fallon has brought this team after last year's disappointing season.

Leitir Mor can be a handful for anybody on their day, but they will be expected to be under pressure in this group in what on paper looks like the toughest of the three groups.

This weekends fixtures:

Annaghdown v Claregalway, (Sat ) Kenny Park 5.15pm

Leitir Mor v St James, (Sat ) Clonbur 5.45pm

Corofin v Tuam Stars, (Sat ) Kenny park 7pm

Group 3

Caherlistrane, An Ceathru Rua, Moycullen, Mountbellew/Moylough, Killanin, Monivea-Abbey

After a superb 2018, including bringing Corofin to a replay in the county final, Mountbellew/Moylough will almost certainly qualify for the quarter-final.

After an unbeaten year in 2018 championship with four draws, and a huge win over Corofin in the league, Killanin will enter the 2019 championship full of confidence.

Caherlistrane, Moycullen and Monivea-Abbey will all firmly believe they have a chance of qualifying. An Cheathru Rua might be considered the weakest team in this group, and the bottom team in each group will end up playing intermediate for 2020.

This weekends fixtures:

An Ceathru Rua v Caherlistrane, (Sat ) Clonbur 4pm

Mountbellew/Moylough v Monivea-Abbey, (Sat ) Duggan Park 6.45pm

Moycullen v Killanin (Sun ) Oughterard 12.30pm

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