THE OPENING ROUND of fixtures for this year’s Allianz Hurling and Football Leagues have been announced, with some crunch ties warming up the action.
Reigning football league and championship holders Cork will face an away trip to Munster kingpins Kerry in the first round, in a match that will instantly test the mettle of both sides following Cork’s long-awaited capture of Sam Maguire last month.
Elsewhere in Division 1, Armagh will host Dublin – in a reverse of this year’s Round 3 qualifier, where Dublin won in Croke Park by three points – and Mayo host beaten All-Ireland finalists Down. Galway visit Monaghan in the remaining clash.
In hurling, meanwhile, fans from both All-Ireland champions Tipperary and the recently deposed Kilkenny will both be keenly awaiting the renewal of their rivalries on Saturday February 12 under the lights of Semple Stadium.
Both will hope, however, that the match actually goes ahead – with the same fixture being scheduled to open last year’s League and postponed twice due to heavy snowfall in Thurles. Tipperary won at the game’s third attempt.
The following day, Munster champions Waterford will host Dublin, Cork take on Offaly, and Galway will play host to Wexford.
The full fixtures can be downloaded from RTÉ’s website.