Sports Update: Offaly begin life in Joe McDonagh Cup with home tie against neighbours Laois

The Joe McDonagh Cup is heading for its second season.

OFFALY WILL BEGIN their journey through the Joe McDonagh Cup with a round-one tie against neighbouring county Laois next year.

They will then travel to take on the 2018 finalists Westmeath in the second round before facing Antrim and Kerry in the final rounds of the competition.

The Faithful county dropped down to the Joe McDonagh for the 2019 season after they finished bottom of the Leinster group at the end of the round-robin series during the summer.

Their relegation to this competition comes two decades after the county last lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1998. 

The Joe McDonagh Cup was introduced this year as part of a revamped hurling championship structure with Carlow coming out on top in the final against Westmeath, meaning they will take their place in the Liam MacCarthy Cup competition for 2019.

Joe McDonagh Cup

Round 1: Offaly v Laois, Antrim v Kerry
Round 2: Laois v Antrim, Westmeath v Offaly
Round 3A: Westmeath v Kerry
Round 3B: Offaly v Antrim
Round 4: Antrim v Westmeath, Kerry v Laois
Round 5: Laois v Westmeath, Kerry v Offaly

Christy Ring Cup

Christy Ring
Christy Ring Cup Draw.

Nicky Rackard Cup

Nicky Rackard
Nicky Rackard Cup.

Lory Meagher Cup

Lory Meagher
Lory Meagher Cup.

Meanwhile, the draws for the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups were also made on Thursday.

Both the Christy Ring and Nicky Rackard Cup competitions consist of two groups of teams playing on a round-robin basis. 

The top two teams in each group will contest the semi-finals with the winners of each group playing the runners-up of the other group. The bottom two teams in each group will have a play-off and the losing side will be relegated.

In the case of the Nicky Rackard Cup, the winner of the final will be promoted to the Christy Ring Cup.

The Lory Meagher Cup will have one group of four teams playing on a round-robin basis. The top two teams will contest the final with the winners moving up to the Nicky Rackard Cup competition. 

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