The 2019 All Ireland Hardball Senior Singles kicks off this weekend with three games down for decision in Clonmel, Tuamgraney and Crinkle. Limerick's CJ Fitzpatrick leads the field in his bid to capture a third title in a row.
The withdrawal of former 8 time champion Dublin's Eoin Kennedy is a blow but a strong field remains headed up by reigning champion CJ Fitzpatrick who is aiming for a third title in a row in the Hardball code. Also in the mix this year is 2011 champion Robbie McCarthy who having captured the All Ireland 4-Wall Singles title will be looking to add the Hardball and Softball titles to complete the Grand Slam in 2019.
Kerry's Dominick Lynch and Dublin's Carl Browne alongside Mayo's Vinny Moran are other experienced campaigners vying for the title.
This weekend sees Kilkenny's Keith Burke face Cork's Daniel Relihan in Clonmel in what promises to be a close encounter, the winner going on to face number 1 seed CJ Fitzpatrick. Galway's Pat Conway and Ciaran Neary will face off in Tuamgraney with the winner facing Kerry's Dominick Lynch in the last 8. The final game of the weekend will see Kildare's Michael Dowling and Limerick's Evan Murphy going head to head in a real battle of experience vs youth in Crinkle on Saturday morning. The winner will have the daunting task of facing Westmeath's Robbie McCarthy in the last 8.
In other Hardball fixtures the one game in the Minor Singles championships will not go ahead this weekend as Meath's Daniel Farrelly has received a walkover from Clare's Conor Downes. In Intermediate Singles Mayo's Patrick Murphy and Kilkenny's William Love go head to head in Mullingar while Kilkenny's Daniel Love has received a walkover from Limerick's Pat Murphy.
The Junior Doubles sees six games taking place across the country as the Hardball season kicks into full gear.
See below for full list of fixtures
2019 GAA Handball All Ireland Hardball Championships
Thursday 2nd May
Clonmel, Tipperary OIC Ken Conway (087 6784510) At 7.30pm
- JD 6. Kilkenny (Sean Foley/Eamonn Purcell) v Limerick (Jack O’Brien/Eamonn Davern)
Saturday 4th May
Clonmel, Tipperary OIC Ken Conway (087 6784510) At 6.30pm
- IS 1. Kilkenny (Daniel Love) w/o Limerick (Pat Murphy) w/d inj.
- SS 1. Kilkenny (Keith Burke) v Cork (Daniel Relihan)
Tuamgraney, Clare OIC Shane Walsh (087 9415001) At 2pm
- JD 2. Galway (Jamie Kelly/John Ward) v Tipperary (Aidan O’Flaherty/Liam Bradshaw)
- SS 2. Galway (Pat Conway) v Kilkenny (Ciaran Neary)
Crinkle, Offaly OIC Kevin Cooke (087 6423846) At 11.45am
- MS 1. Meath (Daniel Farrelly) w/o Clare (Conor Downes) scr
- SS 3. Kildare (Michael Dowling) v Limerick (Evan Murphy)
Mullingar, Westmeath OIC Robert McCarthy (087 6998085) At 2pm
- JD 3. Roscommon (Sean Jennings/Denis Creaton) v Kilkenny (CJ Delaney/Donal O'Farrell)
- IS 2. Mayo (Patrick Murphy) v Kilkenny (William Love)
Talbot’s Inch, Kilkenny OIC Martin Lawlor (086 8184598) At 12noon
- JD 4. Kildare (Myles & Ivan Carroll) v Cork (Gearoid O’Connell/Philip O’Carroll)
Hospital, Limerick OIC John Penny (087 9115411) At 3pm
- JD 1. Cork (John Hurley/Shane Flynn) v Tipperary (Paul Mullins/Kevin Dempsey)
- JD 5. Galway (Alan Byrne/Conor Noone) W/O Tipperary (Aidan & Patrick Supple) scr.
Wednesday 8th May
Cullen, Cork OIC Donnacha O'Dea (087 4114641 ) At 7.30pm
- JS 6. Kerry (Jack O’Shea) v Cork (John Hurley)
Thurles, Tipperary OIC Kevin Timmons (087 6188715) At 8pm
- JS 10. Kildare (Myles Carroll) v Tipperary (Aidan O’Flaherty)
Hospital, Limerick OIC John Penny (087 9115411) At 7.30pm
- JS 8. Cork (Gearoid O’Connell) w/o Tipperary (Paul Mullins) w/d inj
Clogh, Kilkenny OIC Josephine Cooney (087 9207047) At 7.30pm
- JS 9. Dublin (Ciaran McCallan) v Cork (Jamie O’Donnell)
- JS 13. Westmeath (Darren Carter) v Cork (David Walsh)
Crinkle, Offaly OIC Conor O Brien (086 0758646) At 7.30pm
- JS 11. Roscommon (Sean Jennings) v Kilkenny (CJ Delaney)
- JS 12. Kildare (Ivan Carroll) v Galway (Jamie Kelly)
- JS 7. Galway (Alan Byrne) W/O Tipperary (Aidan Supple) scr