Last Wednesday Aras Laighean played host to the Launch of the Bank Of Ireland Celtic Challenge for 2019.
The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge is the National Hurling Development Competition for 16 and 17-year old hurlers. For 2019, a total of 44 teams from all 32 counties will take part across eight groups – that are determined on a geographical and developmental basis – and feature county as well as regional teams.
In total there will be 16 Leinster teams in this the fourth year of the competition.
Representatives – players and coaches – from half of the Leinster teams gathered in Leinster GAA Offices in Portlaoise on Wednesday 6th March to participate in a workshop. After a great Q&A session with the legenday Tommy Walsh of Kilkenny – the players were presented with their bespoke Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge jerseys, which are kindly sponsored by O’Neills House of Sport.
The remaining Leinster teams will be attending a workshop in Croke Park next Wednesday 13th March.
Dublin Clarke, Dublin Plunkett, Wexford, Laois and Offaly will participate in Group C of the competition. Carlow, Meath, Westmeath, Kildare Lily Whites and Wicklow Blue will participate in Group D while Kilkenny Black and Kilkenny Amber will take on four Munster teams in Group E.
The Group games will take place between Wednesday 1st May and Wednesday 5th June.
After the initial round robin group phase of matches, teams will be graded on their performance and will then be assigned to one of six Divisions for Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals where again they will compete against teams of a similar level of ability.
The six Divisional Finals will be played on Saturday, June 29th in Bord na Móna O’Connor Park, Tullamore and will be streamed live by Pundit Arena and on GAA Now.
The full list of the 44 teams taking part in the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge 2019 is:
Kildare Lily Whites