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Game On

Junior Hurling Final to be decided while Munster champs continue

Wednesday, 1st November, 2017 4:37pm

Junior Hurling Final

Brian Dillons vs St Catherine’s

Last Sunday, Knocknagree became the first team in Cork to win a junior county title under the new format whereby divisional runners-up were allowed to advance to the county series. Brian Dillons, who themselves lost the Seandun decider to Nemo Rangers this year, will attempt to emulate that feat.

They have already gained a measure of revenge by defeating city rival Nemo Rangers last week in the semi-final and that will give them a boost ahead of this encounter.

Of course, they will have unhappy memories of their last final appearance in 2012 - a replay loss to Kildorrery, after two brilliant games.

By contrast St Catherine's have taken the direct route to this decider and were not fazed by meeting Russell Rovers for a second time, winning comfortably.

Dan Mangan and Brian Mulcahy have the experience of a senior final with Imokilly behind them, and that will help, and they will be keen to add another medal to their collection.

John Horgan has been Dillons' key man for so long and his accuracy is a key component of their team. He gets excellent support from Thomas Lawrence and Darragh Brosnan but they look set to be without Cillian Brosnan as he picked up a red card last Saturday.

Dillons will also endeavour to keep the cup on the north east of the city as Mayfield were last season’s champions, and not only that, they added Munster and All-Ireland titles - a feat I am sure their neighbours would like to repeat.

First they have to overcome the formidable challenge that the East Cork champions will present. Finals at this time of the year can have a number of factors to influence them, not least the weather conditions, but a slight fancy for Dillons to edge a tight contest in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday at 3.30pm.

Under 21 Championships

Douglas vs Cill Na Martra

At the outset of this championship Douglas would have been among the favourites to succeed the ‘Barr’s as champions, so it’s no surprise that they are in the final, but the identity of their opposition is to some.

However en route to this final, Cill Na Martra have won some good games, a fancied Clonakilty side among them, and will not be fazed by the task they face. Douglas, though, have a highly talented squad of players, (including Cork senior Sean Powter who heads to Australia next week along with Eoin Cadogan with the International Rules team and we wish them well), Shane Kingston and Mark Dolan and so anything other than a Douglas win would constitute a major shock.

In Under 21 'A ' hurling, Fermoy and Inniscarra meet in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday, and having won a minor title a couple of weeks ago and with Sean O’Donoghue a key player for them, Inniscarra might just shade this one.

An indication of the depth of players Sars' have is that, while still strong contenders for the premier title, they also contest the ‘B’ final against Kilshannig and will be fancied to win.

There are two games in the premier competition; the ‘Barrs, buoyed by their great win over a fancied Na Piarsaigh, should be too strong for combination side St Colman's, while Killeagh/Ita’s will be expected to get the better of Courcey Rovers.

AIB Munster Club Championships

Three Cork clubs enter these most competitive of championships, all on Sunday, all with 2pm starts.

Without doubt, the toughest task of all falls to senior runners-up Blackrock who make the trip to the Gaelic Grounds to face Limerick champions Na Piarsaigh who were provincial and All-Ireland champions two years ago.

Shane Dowling will be absent for Na Piarsigh but they are far more experienced then the ‘Rockies who must try and lift themselves after the disappointment of losing to Imokilly. It will be a big ask for them to win, but they are a club with huge tradition and good history in this championship. No doubt they will give it their best, but the odds favour a home win.

Kanturk, fresh from winning the Intermediate Football Championship, turn their attention to hurling this week when they travel to Austin Stack Park in Tralee for a meeting with Kerry senior champions Ballyduff.

The sides would have met in challenge games over the years and you would feel that, with a trio of Munster senior medal winners in their side - Anthony Nash, Aidan Walsh and Lorcan McLoughlin - along with Darren Browne and John McLoughlin, Kanturk should win provided they did not overdo the celebrations last weekend.

Junior football champions Knocknagree are another side who will have curtailed their celebrations, manager John Fintan Daly made that quite clear in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s win over Erin’s Own as they prepare to face Tipperary side Knockavilla Kickhams in Mallow.

John Fintan Daly has made no secret of his desire to make an impact in this championship, and with Sunday’s opposition not even the winners of their own championship, it would be a surprise if they lose especially as Matthew Dilworth, Anthony O’Connor, John Fintan Daly Jnr and Patrick Doyle are excellent players and should ensure complacency will not be an issue.

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