Wednesday 20 June 2018

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Game On

Packed weekend on the club scene

Thursday, 22nd June, 2017 9:50am

St Finbarrs v Glen Rovers

Between them they have, well, a lot of county titles but at around 9.15pm on Saturday night one of them will no longer have any interest in this year’s competition, so a lot at stake.
Glen were beaten by Sars, having demolished Bride Rovers in the preliminary round. Granted, they had 14 men for all but two minutes of that game, but it’s a loss that hurt and will act as a huge incentive as they bid to get their campaign back on track.
The ’Barrs, by contrast, produced a second half display against Ballymartle that they will quickly want to forget, compounded by their failure to score and even more disappointingly, they lost the very influential Bill Beckett to a season-ending injury, he is a huge loss.
Both sides have injury concerns and will look to their intercounty players to deliver big games.
Damien Cahalane will, in all probability, be deployed to contain Patrick Horgan, a lively tussle on the cards here. Stephen McDonnell and Dean Brosnan are key men for the champions, along with David Dooling, David Cunningham and Brian Moylan.
Glenn O’Connor, John Neville and Bill Hennessey will lead the ’Barrs challenge but there is a need for major improvement on their last round showing and they surely will improve, but the Glen look better balanced and should win.


Newtownshandrum vs Youghal

Newtown were involved in a cracker with Na Piarsaigh, losing narrowly, while Youghal went down tamely to Duhallow and will once again look to Bill Cooper for inspiration but he will need a bit more support.
The North Cork side, even without Cathal Naughton, have a lot of good young players along with Jamie Coughlan and Ryan Clifford and if they play as well as they did in the first round, they should edge this one.


Carrigtowhill vs Bandon

Carrig were competitive enough in the first half against Midleton but faded badly in the last quarter and their limited attack found it hard to score from play. They are missing a lot of key players who are no longer available to them for a variety of reasons.
Bandon came very close to beating Blackrock having earlier defeating Muskerry and felt hard done by the circumstances of the loss to the ’Rockies.
Michael Cahalane, the Crowleys and Donogh Lucey look well equipped to guide Bandon into Round 3.


Bride Rovers vs Avondhu

Bride really caught a tartar in their opener to a brilliant Glen Rovers and despite this, racked up a reasonable score that might have won against any other team. They are still formidable opposition and in Barry Johnson and Brian Murphy, they have influential players.
The divisional side were struggling to field in the loss to Carbery and are experiencing similar difficulties ahead of this encounter, which all points to a win for Bride Rovers.


Muskerry vs Carrigdhoun

This is a hard one to call, simply because the strength of both sides might not be known until they actually arrive in the dressing-room, so let’s just toss a coin and say Carrigdhoun, without any great conviction.


Blackrock vs Ballymartle

An interesting clash here and not just of colours. Ballymartle were excellent in their win over the ’Barrs, while Blackrock, with a host of young players, struggled for long periods in the win over Bandon. They will want to prove they are a coming team but they will need to be at their best to win this one.


Carbery vs Na Piarsaigh

The Divisional side produced a good display in beating a weak Avondhu side but this is a step up in quality, and with Christopher Joyce, Evan Sheehan and Padraig Gould in good form, a win for the men from Fair Hill looks on the cards.


Midleton vs Erins Own

Conor Lehane’s expected absence will weaken the Midleton attack but they still can call on Paul Haughney, Luke O’Farrell and Killian Burke. Last year’s runners-up will be short a couple but still have enough to make this a lively contest, that could go either way, but a slight fancy for Midleton.


CIT vs Newcestown

The students had a very strong side on duty in their unexpected but deserved win over Douglas and if they have the majority of that team available, they will make life tough for Newcestown who look to Luke Meade and Carthach Keane to guide them to a second win in the championship.

Premier Intermediate Hurling

A mixture of Round 2A and Round 2B games in this highly competitive championship with some intriguing encounters down for decision.
A local derby in 2A between Carrigaline and Ballinhassig with the latter fancied to make it two from two. Mallow and Blarney also meet in a 2A game and with Mark Coleman playing top quality stuff, his presence might tilt the tie Blarney’s way.
A lot more at stake in 2B, and the first of these is an East Cork derby between Fr O’Neill’s and Castleyons, the latter looking to the Spillanes to keep their season alive. Declan Dalton, Billy Dunne and Ger O’Leary are key men for O’Neill’s, who might just edge this one.
Inniscarra and Valley Rovers is equally intriguing, Valley’s were caught at the death by Carrigaline last time out and with Chris O’Leary a big player for them, they will be favourites to win.
Courcey Rovers and Watergrasshill is another one that is difficult to predict, Courceys would seem to have slipped down the pecking order in recent years, which might suggest that the ’Hill will prevail.


Intermediate Hurling and Football

Na Piarsaigh vs Ballygarvan, a win for Na Piarsaigh; Argideen Rangers should have enough in hand to beat Dripsey; while Castlemartyr look strong enough to defeat Grenagh, all in Round 2B.
In 2A, Ballincollig will be expected to defeat Douglas’ second team, while in the East Cork derby between Aghada and Sars, the expectation would be for Aghada to win, but they would not want to underestimate Sars’ who are on a winning run right now.
In the one football game, Mitchlestown will start as favourites against Adrigole.


Camogie

Round 2 of the All-Ireland Championship with, once again, both Cork teams in action and they are bidding to record successive wins which would strengthen their positions in the race for places in the knockout phase of the championships.
In senior, Limerick provide the opposition in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday at 2.30pm and it’s an ideal opportunity for Cork to avenge a loss in the Munster Final recently.
Since then, Limerick have lost to Offaly and if Cork can cut down on conceding frees then it will limit Limerick as they are over-reliant on Niamh Mulcahy for scores from placed balls. It’s a must-win game for Limerick on the back of the Offaly loss.
Cork were impressive in their win over Tipperary and a repeat performance from Orla Cotter, Gemma O’Connor, Rena Buckley and Eimear O’Sullivan should see the home side collect the points on offer.
Similarly, the intermediate team will be hoping for another win. This time they’re on the road to Carlow, a team they beat in the League semi-final. Niamh Ni Chaoimh is an inspirational captain and with Lauren Callanan and Niamh McCarthy giving good support, they will approach this tie in confident mood.

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