Here are the formats for this week’s GAA provincial championship draws for the 2021 season

IT’S THE MIDDLE of April but at last there is set to be some clarity this week for county teams around the country as to their summer championship plans.

The draws for the 2021 provincial championships in football and hurling take place across tomorrow and Tuesday on RTÉ radio and TV.

Munster football and hurling are in the focus tomorrow morning, then it’s Connacht football tomorrow evening. Tuesday morning will put Leinster football and hurling in the spotlight before Ulster football completes the draws that evening.

With a knockout format in football and no hurling round-robin system again, there will be heightened interest as to the identiy of opponents.

Here’s the formats across the four provinces.

Munster

In football the finalists from last year are both straight through to the semi-finals, the reigning champions Tipperary and beaten finalists Cork.

The quarter-finals will be an open draw involving Kerry, Clare, Limerick and Waterford. The two winners here advance to a draw for the semi-final pairings against either Tipperary or Cork.

Diarmaid Byrnes celebrates after winning last year’s Munster hurling final.

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

In hurling there are five teams involved – current kingpins Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Cork and Clare – in an open draw.

The first two teams drawn out play each other in a semi-final, the third team is also through to a semi-final where they will play the winners of the quarter-final tie involving the fourth and fifth teams.

Connacht

Cillian O’Connor and Aidan O’Shea after last year’s Connacht final.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Five counties are in the frame for the football here – Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. The first and second teams drawn play each other in the quarter-final.

The third team drawn goes into the first semi-final where they will play the quarter-final winner. Then the fourth and fifth teams face off in the other semi-final.

Leinster

In football, Bowl 1 will contain Dublin, Kildare, Laois and Meath while Bowl 2 features Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow, Longford, Offaly, Louth and Westmeath.

Stephen Cluxton lifts the Delaney Cup after last year’s Leinster final.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The four teams in Bowl 1 are straight through to the quarter-finals. The first six teams picked from Bowl 2 play off in three first round games, the winners here meeting the corresponding team from Bowl 1 in the last eight.

The last team from Bowl 2 picked out will go straight through to a quarter-final against the last team drawn from Bowl 1.

A separate semi-final draw will take place after the quarter-final games.

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In hurling there are four teams in the draw for the quarter-finals – Antrim, Dublin, Laois and Wexford – while Kilkenny and Galway are through to the semi-finals.

There will be an open draw for the quarter-finals with the winners of these games included in an open semi-final draw with Kilkenny and Galway.

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Kilkenny players celebrate last year’s Leinster hurling final win.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ulster

In football here, there are five teams in Bowl 1 – Antrim, Armagh, Donegal, Down and Fermanagh. Then Bowl 2 will contain champions Cavan, Derry, Monaghan and Tyrone.

The first two teams drawn from Bowl 1 will meet in a preliminary round. The four teams from Bowl 2 are then added to Bowl 1 where the third team drawn plays the preliminary round winners of the quarter-final.

The remaining three quarter-final pairings are drawn from the six remaining teams.

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