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Club championships resume

Wednesday, 12th July, 2017 5:37pm

After the drama and excitement of Thurles last Sunday, several of the players are right back in action as the championships resume after a couple of weeks where the intercounty scene dominated.

Senior Hurling

A double header in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday afternoon with Duhallow and Bride Rovers getting proceedings underway at 2.15pm. The Divisional side has quality players in their ranks, among them Anthony Nash, Lorcan McLoughlin, Darren Browne and Mark Ellis, and are well capable of running up a big score.

Bride Rovers were well-beaten by Glen Rovers in the first round but recovered to defeat Youghal in Round 2, and with Barry Johnson as effective as ever and their remarkable resilience, they might just edge this one.

Muskerry and Erin’s Own follow at 4pm and the Divisional side are not happy with this fixture as a number of their players are involved with their clubs, which will make for a poorly prepared side.

Erin’s Own narrowly lost to Midleton after extra-time in the second round and that without Kieran Murphy. He returns and with Robbie O’Flynn, Eoghan Murphy, Cian Bowen and Shane Murphy also playing well, it’s hard to see last year’s runners-up slipping up.

Champions Glen Rovers resume their bid for a third title on the trot when they face CIT in Páirc Uí Rinn on Tuesday at 7.30pm, conscious that they will need to produce a more consistent 60 minutes then they did when narrowly defeating St Finbarr’s last time out.

CIT looked impressive in the win over Douglas, less so when losing to Newcestown, and depending on the availability of players, should make this difficult for the holders.

The form of their intercounty players will boost Glen. Patrick Horgan, Stephen McDonnell and Dean Brosnan add in the competitive edge; along with Graham Callanan, David Cunnigham and Brian Moylan. The champions should prevail but would not want to underestimate the students.

Senior Football Championship

Just one game down for decision and it’s a Round 2B encounter between Carrigaline and Beara in Dunmanway, on Sunday night at 7.30pm. Beara have not had the best of fortunes of late but they are capable of raising their game. The odds still favour Carrigaline advancing to the third round.

Premier Intermediate Hurling and Football

An intriguing clash of Kilworth and Fr O’Neill’s in Lisgoold on Sunday at 3.30pm and it’s a hard one to call, two evenly matched sides but the more youthful O’Neill’s side might just shade it.

The big game though is next Wednesday, with the meeting of Blarney and Valley Rovers in the splendid setting of the newly-redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 7.30pm. It is sure to draw a huge crowd as patrons will be anxious to view the new stadium.

Of course for the teams involved the result is paramount and there are good players on both sides. Mark Coleman and Joe Jordan for Blarney, with Chris O’Leary a key man for Valleys, who looked very good in seeing off Inniscarra in the last round and should win this one and create a bit of history that will never be taken away from them.

Cloughduv is the venue on Saturday night at 7.30pm for the meeting of Bandon and Nemo Rangers who might just have too much experience for the West Cork side.

Intermediate Hurling Championship

Plenty of action in this grade, with Aghada expected to get the better of Ballinhassig’s second team. Eire Og should be too strong for Castlemartyr, Kildorrery will be fancied to beat Milford; while Na Piarsaigh, with a few additional players available, should win their Round 2B replay against Ballygarvan.

Camogie

Cork are already safely into the semi-final of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship and have been very impressive in doing so.

They will be expected to complete the group phase unbeaten when the play Offaly in St Brendan’s Park Birr, on Saturday at 3.15pm. Offaly have improved but given the form that Gemma O’Connor, Orla Cotter, Ashling Thompson and Rena Buckley are in right now there can be only one winner in this game.

The opening games in the county senior championship are being played on Sunday in Castle Road. At 2pm, Milford play St Finbarrs and here the former champions should have the edge over a youthful ‘Barrs side. Then, at 5pm, it’s a Muskerry derby between Cloughduv and Ballincollig where Briege Corkery will line out with Cloughduv who will be favourites.

Finally

Apart from the disappointment of Killarney it’s been a good few days for the GAA on Leeside.

Two Munster hurling titles won, two sell-out concerts in the new stadium and then the confirmation that the two All-Ireland hurling Quarter-Finals will be played in the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh on successive days, which should make for a bumper weekend on Leeside, with a good spin-off for business in the city.

We must be doing something right after all, congrats all round to players, mentors and officers.

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