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Game On

Plenty of Championship action in store

Thursday, 20th April, 2017 1:00am

The County Championships continue after wins last weekend for Castlehaven, Duhallow, Valley Rovers, Avondhu and Aghada in the Senior Championship.

Meanwhile, Cork will travel to Limerick for the Division 1 Camogie League Final against Kilkenny on Sunday; while the Cork Ladies Footballers take on Dublin in the League Semi-Final.


Senior Football

There’s a double-header in Páirc Ui Rinn on Saturday night, beginning at 6.15pm with the clash of St Nick’s and Seandún, a local derby of sorts.

Nick’s lost out to Doheny’s in a play-off late last year and will need to win a game this season to avoid relegation. They face a Seandún side who will, because of club commitments, have had little preparation but are well capable of delivering a big display.

Graham Callanan, Luke Forde, Adam Lynch, Dave Dunlea and Dean Brosnan are key players for the Blackpool lads, whose desire might be greater and enough to get them over the line.

The second game at 8pm could very well be the tie of the weekend as St Finbarrs meet Ballincollig, two sides bang in form.

However. the ‘Barr’s cause is not helped by the absence of the injured duo of Michael Shields and Stephen Sherlock.

Ballincollig are unbeaten in the league to-date and have Paddy Kelly in good form; along with Sean Kiely, John Miskella and Cian Dorgan.

Ian Maguire remains a key player for the ‘Barrs, and even without Shields and Sherlock, they might just shade it.

Bandon is the venue at 6.30pm for the meeting of Nemo Rangers and O’Donovan Rossa and again, another intriguing contest on the cards here, with Nemo favourites to win.

Paul Kerrigan, Stephen Cronin, Aidan O’Reilly and Micheal Aodh Martin should have enough experience to see them home.  

Carrigaline and Bishopstown meet in Ballygarvan at 6.30pm and this could be close as the ‘Town have endured a tough couple of weeks with a change of management stepping in for this game.

Nicholas Murphy has called time on his wonderful career and despite their problems, Jamie O’Sullivan, Conor Dorman and Ken O’Halloran will rise to the challenge and get Bishopstown the win.

The final senior game of the weekend is on Sunday in Blarney at 3.45pm and it pits Clyda Rovers against Douglas; the latter’s second game in just over two weeks, which gives them a advantage in terms of championship fitness.

Clyda though are a resilient side and with Paudie Kissane and Ray Carey still as keen as ever, they will test Douglas but the city side – with that match under their belts – and quality players in Sean Powter, Alan Cadogan, Eoin Cotter (if fit) and Kevin Conlon, should win.


Camogie League Final

Cork and Kilkenny renew their age-old rivalry on Sunday when they meet in the Littlewoods Division 1 League Final as a curtain-raiser to the hurling final in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick at 1.30pm.

When the sides met in the group phase, Cork had a narrow win. They are unbeaten to-date and what better way to end the campaign but by winning the title and gaining a measure of revenge for last September’s loss in Croke Park?

Kilkenny only made the play-off on scoring difference but showed all their experience to see off Galway in the semi-final and, with Cork the opposition, they will raise it up a notch or two and will be keen to maintain their winning run in finals – they are the league holders.

Cork have impressed during the league and their style of play has differed from last year and it is paying dividends.

Orla Cotter could return having missed the semi-final and Pamela Mackey should also be fit.

Add in Rena Buckley, Julia White, Eimear O’Sullivan and Catriona Mackey playing well, and with the motivation to win yet a title last won in 2013, Cork might just edge this one. 


Premier and Intermediate

Four games in the Intermediate grade with three on Saturday.

At 6pm in Inchigeela, Adrigole meet Rockchapel and here the Duhallow side should prevail.

Carrigtwohill is the venue for the meeting of Aghabullogue and Youghal and here the former are tipped to advance.

Kanturk and Mitchelstown meet in Churchtown and with Aidan Walsh and the McLoughlin brothers, John and Lorcán, on duty – Kanturk will be fancied here, both of these matches have 6.45pm starts.

On Sunday, in Castlemagner, at 3pm, Ballydesmond – with Donnacha O’Connor in fine form – should be too strong for the ‘Barrs’ second team.

The one game in the Premier grade is the meeting of Nemo Rangers and Mallow in Blarney on Sunday at 2pm.

Nemo will be hoping that the seniors keep changes to a minimum in their game on Saturday but Mallow, with James Loughrey and Cian O’Riordan in their side, should be to strong.


Ladies Football League Semi-Final

As with the camogie final, this is a repeat of last season’s All-Ireland Final with Cork and Dublin meeting in Nowlan Park Kilkenny, on Saturday, at 3.30pm.

Cork had a slow start to the campaign, but as they always do, made the play-off phase with a bit to spare.

With all their players – with the exception of the retired Deirdre O’Reilly and Briege Corkery, who has yet to decide – back on board, they will once again be the team to beat.

Dublin felt aggrieved at the controversy surrounding last year’s final and that will give them extra incentive but even that might not be enough to deny Cork a place in the final. 

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