Joe McDonagh Cup: Antrim hurlers to face Meath in championship opener on 5 May

Antrim forward Neil McManus
Neil McManus and his Antrim colleagues will face Laois again on 19 May

Antrim hurlers' championship campaign will begin with their Joe McDonagh Cup opener against Meath in Navan on 5 May.

The Saffrons will host Carlow at Corrigan Park on 12 May before facing Laois in Cushendall a week later.

Laois defeated Antrim on 18 March to send Antrim back to Division Two of the Hurling League.

Further group games follow against Westmeath, Kerry in June before the top two teams go forward to the final at Croke Park on 1 July.

The Westmeath game will take place in Mullingar on 2 June before a home contest in Dunloy against the Kingdom a week later.

The Joe McDonagh Cup is the new second-tier competition with Derry, Down and Armagh involved in the now third-tier Christy Ring Cup.

JOE MCDONAGH CUP FIXTURES

Round One - 5 May (15:00 BST)
MeathvAntrim - Navan
CarlowvKerry - Cullen Park
LaoisvWestmeath - Portlaoise
Round Two - 12 May (17:00)
AntrimvCarlow - Aughrim
Round Two - 13 May
WestmeathvMeath - Mullingar
KerryvLaois - Tralee
Round Three - 19 May (15:00 BST)
AntrimvLaois - Cushendall
CarlowvMeath - Cullen Park
Round Three - 20 May
KerryvWestmeath - Tralee
Round Four - 2 June (15:00)
MeathvKerry - Navan
LaoisvCarlow - Portlaoise
WestmeathvAntrim - Mullingar
Round Five - 9 June (15:00)
MeathvLaois - Navan
CarlowvWestmeath - Cullen Park
AntrimvKerry - Mullingar
Final - 1 July
1st placed teamv2nd placed team - Croke Park

CHRISTY RING CUP FIXTURES

Round One - Group One - 12 May (15:00 unless stated)
WicklowvMayo - Aughrim
KildarevRoscommon - Tralee
Round One - Group Two - 12 May (15:00 unless stated)
DerryvLondon - Ballinascreen, 13:00
DownvArmagh - Ballycran
Round Two - Group One - 19 May (15:00 unless stated)
RoscommonvWicklow - Dr Hyde Park
MayovKildare - Castlebar
Round Two - Group Two - 19 May (15:00 unless stated)
ArmaghvDerry - Athletic Grounds
LondonvDown - Ruislip (time tbc)
Round Three - Group One - 2 June (15:00 unless stated)
WicklowvKildare - Aughrim
RoscommonvMayo - Dr Hyde Park
Round Three - Group Two - 2 June (15:00 unless stated)
DerryvDown - Ballinascreen, 13:00
ArmaghvLondon - Athletic Grounds, 13:00
Semi-finals: 9 June
1st Group Onev2nd Group Two - tbc
1st Group Twov2nd Group One - tbc
Final: 23 June
Semi-final winnersvSemi-final winner - Croke Park

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