Ulster GAA have confirmed that the 2020 Bank of Ireland Dr. McKenna Cup Competition will be played without the third level Institutions and will commence on December 29th. A domino effect that has seen County u20s competitions and Sigerson Cup competition being completed earlier left a choice between starting the McKenna cup in mid-December with the third-level colleges or going after Christmas without them.
The group stages will now see games on the 29th of December, January 4th/5th and January 8th with semi-finals on January 12th and the final on the weekend of January 18th/19th. Commenting on the decision Ulster GAA Secretary Brian McAvoy said:
“Two scenarios were put to committee members – the one which was adopted and another which would have meant all three group rounds of the Bank of Ireland Dr. McKenna Cup played in December. There was little appetite from counties to start the competition pre-Christmas, a scenario which would have meant at least five counties having no organized pre-season games in the month of January.”
“With the Sigerson Cup now being run-off in the month of January it’s unlikely now that our university teams will be able to participate in the 2020 competition. Ulster GAA has always valued greatly the participation of Queen’s University, Ulster University and St. Mary’s University College in the Bank of Ireland Dr. McKenna Cup and we continued to offer them the opportunity to play in our pre-season football competition, even when other provinces did not.
“They have added to the competition over the years and we owe them a large debt of gratitude for this. It will be disappointing that they are unlikely to be in the 2020 competition – but totally understandable. I wish them well in their Sigerson Cup preparations and hope that the famed trophy can return to Ulster next year.”