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*Newmarket-on-Fergus’ Jack Enright clears as Corofin/Ruan’s Killian O’Connor chases behind in the 2021 U21A final. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARITY IS needed on whether club championships will be held at U20 or U21 level in Clare.

In a proposal put to the January meeting of the Clare County Board, Newmarket-on-Fergus sought clarity on whether the hurling championship would be played at U20 or U21 and asked that it be done so on a knockout basis as has been the norm at this age-group. They also wished to see an U19 competition take place this year.

“We want to ensure the tournament goes ahead be it U20 or U21,” Newmarket-on-Fergus delegate Siobhán Marren explained at the meeting.

Patrick Hogan said the competition should remain at U21 for 2022 and suggested it revert to commencing in March or April.

Clare GAA Chairman, Kieran Keating confirmed that the Master Fixtures committee would review the proposal. He noted that the U20 inter-county championships are scheduled to start around March or April so he felt it was “not practical” to run the club campaigns parallel to this, “we have just put the managements in place but we don’t want to be on their back”.

A proposal had been submitted to run the U21 on a group basis by Cratloe “because of a lack of games”. Chairman of the South Clare club, Kevin Browne admitted he was unaware Newmarket-on-Fergus were raising the matter and said the group format would not be needed if a substantial U19 competition took place. “We can’t have a couple of hundred players lying idle waiting on twenty four county players to finish their championship,” Browne commented.

Players are missing out, Kilmurry Ibrickane’s John Brew believed. He highlighted a sixteen year old can only play U17 and are unable to line out at U19 and U21 yet a fifteen year old is eligible for both U15 and U17.

Keating in response suggested that the proposals be passed onto the Master Fixtures committee with clubs then to make a decision at the February meeting of the County Board. “Decide in February rather than deciding now and tying their hands. We want more games for young players,” he added.

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