Nicky Rackard Cup

Nicky Rackard Cup
Country  Ireland (8 teams)
Founded 2005–present
Number of teams 8
Level on pyramid 3
Promotion to Christy Ring Cup
Relegation to Lory Meagher Cup
Current champions Mayo
Most championships London
TV partners TG4 (Final only)
Website Official GAA site
2016 Nicky Rackard Cup

The Nicky Rackard Cup (often referred to as the Rackard Cup) is the third-highest senior inter-county championship overall in hurling. Each year, the champion team in the Nicky Rackard Cup is promoted to the Christy Ring Cup, and the lowest finishing team enters a play-off with possible relegation to the Lory Meagher Cup.

The Nicky Rackard Cup, which was introduced for the 2005 season, was the latest initiative in providing a meaningful championship for third tier teams deemed "too weak" for any higher grades.

The winners of the championship receive the Nicky Rackard Cup, named after former Wexford hurler Nicky Rackard regarded as one of the greatest hurlers of all time.

In the 2015 season, Roscommon were the Nicky Rackard Cup champions, Armagh were the runners up, and louth were relegated.


In 2003 the Hurling Development Committee (HDC) was charged with restructuring the entire hurling championship. The committee was composed of chairman Pat Dunny (Kildare), Liam Griffin (Wexford), P. J. O'Grady (Limerick), Ger Loughnane (Clare), Cyril Farrell (Galway), Jimmy O'Reilly (Down), Willie Ring (Cork), Pat Daly (GAA Games Development Officer) and Nicky English (Tipperary). Over the course of three months they held discussions with managers, players and officials, while also taking a submission from the Gaelic Players Association. The basic tenet of the proposals was to structure the hurling championship into three tiers in accordance with 2004 National Hurling League status. The top tier was confined to 12 teams, while the next twenty teams would contest the second and third tiers which were to be known respectively as the Christy Ring Cup and Nicky Rackard Cup. There would also be promotion-relegation play-offs between the three championship tiers. The HDC also suggested that these games would be played as curtain raisers to All-Ireland quarter-finals and semi-finals.[1]

The proposal were accepted at the 2005 GAA Congress. The Christy Ring Cup and the Nicky Rackard Cup competitions were launched at Croke Park on 8 December 2004.



The twelve participating teams were divided into three groups of four and played in a round-robin format. Each team was guaranteed at least three games each. The three group winners qualified for the knock-out semi-finals of the competition. The runners-up in groups 3B and 3C contested a play-off with the winner playing the runner up in group 3A in a lone quarter-final. The winner of that match joined the three group winners in the semi-finals.


The twelve participating teams were divided into four groups of three and played in a round-robin format, thus limiting each team to just two games each. The eventual group winners and runners-up qualified for the knock-out quarter-finals of the competition.


In 2009 a double elimination format was introduced, thus guaranteeing each team at least two games before being eliminated from the competition.

Teams participating in the 2016 season

The following 8 teams will be competing in the 2016 Nicky Rackard Cup.

Team Finishing position last season
FermanaghPromoted from the Lory Meagher Cup
LongfordRelegation runners-up
MayoRelegation from the Christy Ring Cup

Past winners

Year Date Winner Score Runner-up Score Venue
August 21 London 5-8 (23) Louth 1-05 (8) Croke Park, Dublin
August 12 Derry 5-15 (30) Donegal 1-11 (14) Croke Park, Dublin
August 12 Roscommon 1-12 (15) Armagh 0-13 (13) Croke Park, Dublin
August 3 Sligo 3-19 (28) Louth 3-10 (19) Croke Park, Dublin
July 11 Meath 2-18 (24) London 1-15 (18) Croke Park, Dublin
July 3 Armagh 3-15 (24) London 3-14 (23) Croke Park, Dublin
June 4 London 2-20 (26) Louth 0-11 (11) Croke Park, Dublin
June 9 Armagh[2] 3-20 (29) Louth 1-15 (18) Croke Park, Dublin
June 8 Donegal[3] 3-20 (29) Roscommon 3-16 (25) Croke Park, Dublin
June 7 Tyrone[4] 1-17 (20) Fingal 1-16 (19) Croke Park, Dublin
June 6 Roscommon[5] 2-12 (18) Armagh 1-14 (17) Croke Park, Dublin
June 4 Mayo 2-16 (22) Armagh 1-15 (18) Croke Park, Dublin

Roll of Honour

County Wins Years won
Armagh 2 2010, 2012
London 2 2005, 2011
Roscommon 2 2007, 2015
Derry 1 2006
Sligo 1 2008
Meath 1 2009
Donegal 1 2013
Tyrone 1 2014
Mayo 1 2016


Top scorers


Season Top scorer Team Score Total
2016 Damien Casey Tyrone 2-39 45


Season Top scorer Team Score Total
2005 Kevin McMullan London 2-1 7
Dave Bourke London 1-4 7
2006 Ruairí Convery Derry 2-7 13
2007 Shane Sweeney Roscommon 0-6 6
2008 Keith Raymond Sligo 1-8 11
2009 Neil Hackett Meath 0-6 6
Martin Finn London 0-6 6
2010 Paul Breen Armagh 2-4 10
2011 Martin Finn London 2-8 14
2012 Shane Fennell Louth 0-9 9
2013 Gerry Fallon Roscommon 2-9 15
2014 John Matthew Sheridan Fingal 0-11 11
2015 Ryan Gaffney Armagh 0-8 8
2016 Kenny Feeney Mayo 1-9 12


  1. Keys, Colm (10 December 2003). "Hurling evangelists have radical tiers in their eyes". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  2. "Nicky Rackard final: Orchard blooms against Louth". Hogan Stand. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  3. "Rackard glory for 14-man Donegal". RTÉ Sport. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  4. "Nicky Rackard Cup: Tyrone edge Fingal". Hogan Stand. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  5. "Kelly the Nicky Rackard hero for Roscommon". Irish Times. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  6. "Nicky Rackard Cup". Commercial Enterprises Ltd. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
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