We may be still a week away from the opening rounds of the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup but we now know the date that all those counties involved will be aiming at.
The GAA published its Master Fixture List at Croke Park yesterday and the key dates to determine the outcomes of the Championships will be the 18th August for the Hurling and the 1st September for Football.
Will that date be etched in History as Dublin go for an unprecedented five in a row or will there be a new challenger like Offaly in 1992. They had lost to Kerry when the Kingdom made it four in a row the previous year so perhaps Tyrone will give us an echo of history.
We know they will have to get past Derry first in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship.
In the Allianz Leagues, the Hurling and Football Finals are scheduled to be played over the last two weekends in March, weather permitting of course. The only national events taking place in April are the Post-primary Schools Finals and the Scór Finals in Castlebar.
The overall fixture list runs to 58 pages giving an indication of the complexity of putting together the fixtures. And of course, that doesn’t even scratch the surface when it comes to Club matches all of which are organised at local County level in the model of distributed responsibility that is the mark of the GAA.