Tuesday 12 December 2017

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Cork Independent

Game On

Munster club championships continue

Wednesday, 15th November, 2017 5:48pm

Intermediate Munster Final

Kanturk vs Kilmaley

It’s been a remarkable season to date for Kanturk, with two county titles safely tucked away and just 60 minutes separates them from a Munster crown. This, though, will test them as the Clare champions are a formidable outfit and they had a convincing win over An Rinn in the semi-final. In fact, teams from the Banner county have a good record in this championship and Kilmaley will be keen to maintain this.

Kilmaley have racked up impressive totals in their two games in this championship and that will test the Kanturk defence, with Cian Moloney, Daire Keane, Mickey O’Neill and Sean Kennedy among the scorers.

Alan Markham, the former Clare star, is also a key player for them and he will also be a handful although injury limited his participation in the last game. Defensively Colin McGuane, Martin O’Connor and Sean Kennedy also impressed.

The Cork champions had contrasting displays in their wins over St Mary’s-which was comfortable, while they survived a severe test against Kerry senior side Ballyduff in Tralee. The manner in which they won that game is evident that the focus is still good despite the demands of a long and gruelling season in both codes.

That should send them to Limerick in a confident mood, and once again, their Cork contingent of Anthony Nash, Lorcan McLoughlin, Aidan Walsh and Darren Brown remain key components in this team.

There are, though, others who contribute in a vital way to this team, among them Ian Walsh, Liam O’Keeffe and Donnacha Kennelly.

This has the makings of a quality contest and it's hard to predict a winner but on the basis of what I have seen, it will take a big effort from Kilmaley to deny Kanturk a third title this season.

Junior Munster Semi-Final

Knocknagree vs Sliabh gCua/St Mary’s

A second home game (Mallow) in this championship for John Fintan Daly’s Knocknagree and it is hard to see them slipping up here, which would send them through to the 2 December final in Mallow, with the possibility that the Kerry champions will provide the opposition.

Knocknagree are a well balanced side and play a lovely brand of football with a lot of emphasis on kick passing and their direct approach quickly put them in control against Erin’s Own and Knockavilla Kickhams.

The gap between Cork and Waterford in football terms is enough to suggest that Sliabh gCua, while they'll give it their best, won’t be enough to deny the Cork champions a place in the decider, especially if John Fintan Daly Jnr, Anthony O’Connor and others produce the scoring ability they displayed in recent games.

Locally

With most of the championships complete, it’s a relatively quiet weekend but there are a number of interesting games scheduled.

Under 21 hurling, which will be delayed by the events in Fermoy last Saturday, sees St Finbarr’s, who are on a good run, take on Shandrum in a quarter-final clash that’s a repeat of the first round in which the latter won, but the ‘Barrs are capable of reversing that result.

Sarsfields and Blackrock meet in another quarter-final in Páirc Uí Rinn, two of the favourites for this championship, and the Rockies will be boosted by the manner in which they recovered to defeat to Fr O’Neills in the last round, but Sars’ look better balanced to advance.

A vital game in senior football as St Nick’s bid to preserve their long cherished senior status when they play Doheny’s in a relegation play-off in Brinny.

There are three big games in ladies football in the All-Ireland club series.

In the senior semi-final, Mourneabbey are in Cabinteely on Saturday to Foxrock; Kinsale have home advantage in the intermediate semi-final against Moycullen, while in the junior semi-final, Aghada make the long trip to Tuam to play Tuam/Cortoon.

In camogie in the Munster Intermediate Championship Final, Newcestown play Lismore on Saturday, venue to be announced, while on Sunday the Premier 1 Minor Football Final between Eire Og and Douglas goes ahead, again a venue to be confirmed.

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