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Cork Independent

Game On

Senior hurling gets underway

Thursday, 19th April, 2018 9:36am

Camogie
Cork vs Kilkenny

Two weeks ago in the Division 1 Final, Kilkenny inflicted a defeat on Cork and now it’s an opportunity for Cork to reverse that result in the Division 2 semi-final, which has a 2pm start in Walsh Park Waterford on Sunday.

Cork only lost once in the group stages, and that was in the final game to Westmeath when qualification was already secured, but it did deny them top spot.

Of course Cork are also the holders and will be determined to make it back to the decider in a bid to retain their title, and in Sarah Harrington, Lauren Callanan, Rachel O’Shea, Keeva McCarthy and Sarah Buckley, they have the players well capable of holding off what is certain to be a strong challenge from Kilkenny.

Kilkenny do have the extra incentive of remaining on course for a league double, and Aisling Nolan, Edel Coonan and Lydia Fitzpatrick will backbone their team.

Ladies Football

Cork vs Mayo

St Brendan's Park Birr at 3pm on Sunday is the venue for this semi-final which is a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, a game in which Mayo ended Cork’s reign as champions.

Cork’s league campaign was excellent and they had secured their semi-final place before they made the long trip to Donegal without a few regulars, and were beaten by a side that needed the win more, but in the end it was all in vain as Dublin and Galway made the last four.

Ephie Fitzgerald is slowly building a new team, and based on the underage success of the last number of years, has exceptional talent as his disposal.

Mayo could have Cora Staunton in their team as her stint in Aussie Rules is over for now and her inclusion would certainly strengthen the Connacht side.

Cork will, as ever, look to the O’Sullivan sisters, Orla Finn, Martina O’Brien, Shauna Kelly and Orla Farmer to guide them to another final. They are bidding for a sixth successive title, and it’s hard to see Mayo denying them on this occasion.

Senior Hurling Championship

Erin’s Own vs Bride Rovers

With the concentration on football in recent weeks, an East Cork local derby between these two keen rivals will get the championship underway in Lisgoold on Sunday at 3.30pm.

It has the makings of an intriguing encounter, as both come into this game on the back of exceptional league form and results, even if there is a big difference between league and championship.

Interestingly, there are first time managers in charge of both teams, with Barry O’Neill in Erin’s Own and Pat Walsh now guiding the fortunes of the men from Rathcormac.

Erin’s Own are down a number of players from last year but they still have quality and experience in the Murphys, Robbie O’Flynn who featured with Cork in the National League and Shay Bowen is a top class goalkeeper.

By contrast, Bride Rovers may introduce some of the up and coming young talent, among them the Roche twins Brian and Eoin, while as ever Barry Johnson and Brian Murphy, although carrying a slight injury, remain key players for Bride Rovers.

First round games are hard to predict, especially local derbies, and while Erin’s Own will be fancied, the Rovers have proven in the past that you underestimate them at your peril. A nod, but a hesitant one, to Erin’s Own.

 

Premier and Intermediate Championship

There are games in both codes and grades over the weekend, and a few matches that fell victim to the weather also go ahead.

One such encounter is the Intermediate Football meeting of Aghabullogue and Ballydesmond in Cullen at 6pm. In the same championship, Adrigole and Glenville meet in Inchigeela at 6.15pm, while even though Mark Ellis is a doubt, Millstreet should get the better of Clonakilty’s second team when they clash in Kilmurry at 6.15pm. All these games are on Saturday.

Ovens in the venue on the same evening for the intermediate hurling encounter of Argideen Rangers and Castlemartyr at 6.15pm, where the inclusion of Brian Lawton should tilt the tie the way of the East Cork outfit.

There is one game in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship in Ballygarvan on Sunday at 2pm, where Courcey Rovers and Inniscarra meet. The latter had a poor run last season and will hope that Colm Casey and Sean O’Donoghue can help them get this year’s campaign off to a winning start.

Senior Football

This championship, like most, will now take a back seat, and for the first round winners they can relax somewhat until the draw is made, but for ten clubs they await a second round tie that will determine their fate in this season's competition, and there is nothing easy in the five pairings.

Kiskeam vs Mallow, Douglas vs Doheny’s, Aghada vs Clyda Rovers, Clonakilty vs Newcestown and Carrigaline vs Ilen Rovers; predicting the outcome of these encounters is not going to be easy.

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