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Conor Shields, Tyrone, Liam O’Donovan, Cork, Ryan O’ Donoghue, Mayo, and Fergal Hanratty, Monaghan, at the launch of the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship.
Conor Shields, Tyrone, Liam O’Donovan, Cork, Ryan O’ Donoghue, Mayo, and Fergal Hanratty, Monaghan, at the launch of the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship.

EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship launched


The newly structured, EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship was officially launched today in Croke Park. In attendance to assist with the launch of this exciting new competition were Mayo GAA’s Ryan O’Donoghue, Tyrone GAA’s captain Conor Shields, Monaghan GAA’s Fergal Hanratty and Cork GAA’s Liam O’Donovan. Former GAA Tyrone footballer, Conor Gormley was also in attendance.

EirGrid, the state-owned company that manages and develops Ireland's electricity grid have partnered with the GAA since 2015 as sponsors of the U21 football competition and 2018, with the competition evolving to Under 20 grade, is an extremely exciting year for all involved.

This revised competition allows young players to develop their skills at a the top level and prepare for their careers at senior level. It is very much like the grid that EirGrid develop and manage, this competition gives young talented players the foundation required to build a very successful sporting career and that is a fundamental reason EirGrid partner with the GAA and this competition.

Fans will be excited to hear that the first throw-in of the 2018 Championship is in Ulster on May 26th, with Donegal and Cavan kicking off the competition. Proceedings in Leinster start shortly after with the first games between Longford and Dublin, Westmeath and Wexford, Kildare and Laois and Wicklow and Louth taking place on May 28th. The Connacht championship commences on June 2nd, with Roscommon and Sligo coming face to face for the first time this year.  Limerick and Kerry kick start the Munster campaign when they play on June 15th.

Speaking on behalf of the GAA, John Horan, Uachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael said: “2018 is certainly a year of change in the GAA, not least with the alterations to our competition structures. The U20 competition that we are here today to promote certainly falls into that category.

“The merits of this championship are well documented, offering as it does an outlet before the senior ranks for players to mature and develop against players of their own age.

“I look forward to the new slot the competition now occupies and I would like to acknowledge our partnership with EirGrid and Rosemary Steen, Director of External Affairs, for her ongoing support not only of this competition but of the GAA in general.

“Best of luck to all of our competing players and to everyone else involved.”

EirGrid Director of External Affairs, Rosemary Steen commented: “We at EirGird are excited to be in Croke Park, the home of the GAA to officially launch the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship.

“We are very proud of the three core partnerships we have created with the GAA to date; we have been sponsors of the U21 football championship since 2015, we became the GAA’s first official timing partner in 2016 and we were the lead sponsor for the 2017 Irish International Rules team but today is an exciting day as we officially launch a brand-new competition at U20’s level.

“While the sponsorships we hold are quite different, the crucial element is that communities benefit through our partnership with the GAA and we witnessed an example of this last year when we gifted four GAA clubs with a digital clock and scoreboard as part of our Moments in Time campaign. Something we will look to do again this year and look forward to revealing the details later this summer.

“EirGrid recently launched a new corporate social responsibility strategy and our partnership with the GAA supports this strategy, which focuses on developing positive relationships with communities, community groups and stakeholders.

“A wholehearted thank you to everyone who took the time to be with us today and a particular mention to the players of this new competition. We wish them the very best of luck in their respective campaigns.”

EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship fixtures

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**Ulster fixtures**
**Round** **Date** **Team 1** **Team 2**
Round 1 Sunday 27th May Donegal Cavan
Quarter Final Friday 25th May Fermanagh Armagh
Quarter Final Friday 25th May Tyrone Monaghan
Quarter Final Saturday 26th May Down Antrim
Quarter Final Sunday 3rd June Derry Donegal/Cavan
Semi Final 1 Friday 8th June Fermanagh/Armagh Tyrone/Monaghan
Semi Final 2 Sunday 10th June Down/Antrim Derry/Donegal/Cavan
**Final** Sunday 24th June Winner of SF 1 Winner of SF 2

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**Connacht fixtures:**
**Round** **Date** **Team 1** **Team 2**
Preliminary Round Saturday 2nd June Roscommon Sligo
Semi Final 1 Saturday 9th June Galway Winners of Prelim Rd
Semi Final 2 Saturday 9th June Mayo Leitrim
**Final** Saturday 17th June Winner of Semi-Final 1 Winner of SF 2
**Munster fixtures:**
**Round** **Date** **Team 1** **Team 2**
Quarter Final Friday 15th June Limerick Kerry
Quarter Final Saturday 16th June Cork Tipperary
Semi Final 1 Friday 22nd June Clare Winner of QF 1
Semi Final 2 Friday 22nd June Waterford Winner of QF 2
**Final** Friday 29th June Winner of SF 1 Winner of SF 2
**Leinster fixtures:**
**Round** **Date** **Team 1** **Team 2**
**Group 1**
Round 1 Monday 28th May Longford Dublin
Round 1 Monday 28th May Westmeath Wexford
Round 2 Monday 4th June Dublin Westmeath
Round 2 Monday 4th June Wexford Longford
Round 3 Saturday 16th June Wexford Dublin
Round 3 Saturday 16th June Longford Westmeath
**Group 2**
Round 1 Monday 28th May Kildare Laois
Round 1 Monday 28th May Wicklow Meath
Round 2 Monday 4th June Laois Wicklow
Round 2 Monday 4th June Meath Kildare
Round 3 Saturday 16th June Meath Laois
Round 3 Saturday 16th June Kildare Wicklow
Group 3
Round 1 Monday 28th May Carlow Offaly
Round 1 Monday 28th May Louth Bye
Round 2 Monday 4th June Louth Carlow
Round 2 Monday 4th June Offaly Bye
Round 3 Saturday 16th June Offaly Louth
Round 3 Saturday 16th June Carlow Bye
Quarter Finals 22nd/23rd June
Quarter Finals 22nd/23rd June
Semi Final Saturday 30th June Grp1 Winners Grp 2 Winners
Semi Final Saturday 30th June Winners of QF A Winners of QF B
**Final** Saturday 7th July Winners of SF C Winners of SF D

·         Winners of Group 1 and 2 Bye to Semi Finals.  Top two teams from each Group qualify for Quarter Finals (6 teams) - to note, the winners of Groups 1 & 2 will be in the top 6, they go straight to the semi-final.                                                                  

·         If two teams tie for qualifying positions – the outcome of the game between them decides otherwise score difference.                    

·         If three or more teams tie for qualifying positions – score difference will decided.

·         Home / Away arrangements apply to Quarter Finals and Semi Finals.                    

·         Final at neutral venue.                                                                                   

·         All Group games at home venues / Knock out games –  winner on the day.

**All-Ireland fixtures:**
**Round** **Date** **Team 1** **Team 2**
All Ireland Semi Final 14/15th July Connacht Ulster
All Ireland Semi Final 14/15th July Leinster Munster
**All Ireland Final** Sunday 5th August Winners of SF Winners of SF  

Official Sponsors of the GAA Football All-Ireland Championship

Official Sponsors of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Championship