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Club championships ramp up

Thursday, 17th August, 2017 10:18am


Senior Hurling

It’s been some time since either Douglas - surprise losers to CIT - and Killeagh had a championship outing but their meeting in Cobh on Saturday night should be interesting.

Douglas look much stronger and with Cork stars Shane Kingston and Alan Cadogan leading their challenge - along with Mark Collins, Eoin Cadogan, Cian McCarthy and Stephen Moylan in good form - it’s hard to see them losing this one against what is essentially a very young Killeagh side.

Bishopstown and Ballymartle return to Páirc Uí Rinn for their replay on Tuesday night and both will look for improvement on the drawn encounter. The city side may have Jamie O’Sullivan back for this game, but unless they can get more scoring support for Tomas Murray, they will find it difficult to win.

Senior Football

St Finbarrs and Newcestown meet in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday in a Round 2B encounter with Bishopstown awaiting the winners on 1 September. The ‘Barrs, with just one code to concentrate on, look better equipped to win, especially with Michael Shields, Ian Maguire, Jason Sexton and Dylan Quinn bringing vast experience to their side.

Dunmanway is the venue on Sunday for the 2A clash of Carbery and Castlehaven, and while the losers will not be eliminated, the local derby aspect should bring a real edge to this game.

Damien Cahalane should play his first football game in some time and while they will be without long term injury victim Brian Hurley, his brother Michael and Conor Cahalane will enjoy the challenge of playing their Divisional rivals.

Carbery can call on experienced players in Alan O’Connor, Ruairi Deane and the O’Driscolls, Colm and Kevin, and they have the potential to win; but as ever, the ‘Haven will be combative to the end.

Premier Intermediate Football

Some intriguing games in this very competitive championship, not least the meeting of Na Piarsaigh and Eire Óg in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday. The latter is one of the favourites for the title with Kevin Hallissey, Ronan O’Toole and Daniel Goulding their key men. The Northside club can call on many of their dual players and could shade this one.

Macroom, without the influential Fintan Goold, should still have a bit too much fire power for St Vincent’s when they meet in Coachford.

Cullen is the venue for the meeting of Ballingeary and Fermoy, where the latter should prevail.

Premier Intermediate Hurling

The first of the Quarter-Finals is on in Midleton on Saturday and it pits two of the fancied sides for the title, Fr O’Neill’s and Ballinhassig, and it’s essentially the more experienced South-East side against a team many see as one for the future.

Declan Dalton, Ger O’Leary and Ger Mellerick are key men for O’Neill’s, while Fintan O’Leary and the Collins brothers are among the important players for Ballinhassig; whose greater experience might get them over the line.

A Round 2A clash of Kanturk, whose intercounty contingent of Anthony Nash, Lorcán McLoughlin and Aidan Walsh (if fit) look too strong for a Charleville side that will have the exciting Darragh Fitzgibbon in their team.

Intermediate Hurling and Football

The big game here is the hurling clash of Kildorrery, last year’s runners-up, and Aghada. The O’Briens and Michael Walsh have been leaders for Kildorerry over many years and that will be needed again if they are to survive a tough test from emerging Aghada side.

Sarsfields, who have enjoyed a few good wins to-date, look to have too much in hand for Barryroe; equally Ballincollig might have enough in hand in their clash with Kilbrittain.

There’s a double-header in Páirc Ui Rinn on Sunday where last year’s All-Ireland Junior hurling champions Mayfield turn their attention to football and will need to be at their best to defeat Aghabullogue.

The all-city clash of Douglas and Blackrock should be interesting, where the Douglas 15 may be shaped by their senior game on Saturday and the possible loss of some players may tilt this one Blackrock’s way.

Glanworth and Millstreet meet in Castlemagner on Sunday in a Round 2A clash where the presence of Kevin Crowley, Michael Vaughan and Mark Ellis will give the latter a winning edge.

Camogie

A big weekend with two All-Ireland semi-finals down for decision, along with games in Round 2 of the Senior Championship.

First up are the seniors, who play Galway in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick on Saturday at 7pm.

Cork went through the group phase unbeaten and enroute played some brilliant camogie. Galway have the benefit of a quarter-final win over Tipperary who, must be said, appear to be a bit off the pace right now, but the game will have helped.

Cork looked very impressive in their last outing and the desire to atone for last year’s final loss is a powerful motivating factor.

Rena Buckley, Emer O’Sullivan, Aoife Murray, Orla Cotter, Ashling Thompson, the Mackey sisters and Gemma O’Connor appear to be at the top of their game now and look set to lead Cork into another final.

Ashbourne County Meath on Sunday is the venue for the Intermediate semi-final, with Derry providing the opposition and tough opponents they will be as well.

Cork lost just once in the group and of course won the league and - like the seniors - are playing good stuff right now.

Niamh Ni Chaoimh is an inspirational captain and Amy Lee is a competent goalkeeper; while Lauren Callanan, Keeva McCarthy, Linda Collins, Meave McCarthy, Rachel O’Shea and Fiona Neville are quality players and if at their best, Cork will be hard to beat.

Three games in Round 2 of the Senior Championship. On Monday, it’s Glen Rovers vs Mallow in Castle Road and on Wednesday there’s two games in Brinny - champions Inniscarra play Courcey Rovers and in Castle Road its St Finbarr’s vs Ballincollig.

Ladies Football

The scheduling of this game for Saturday in Cusack Park Mullingar at 12.45pm against Galway in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final has certainly upset manager Ephie Fitzgerald as it forces dual player Libby Coppinger to line out twice in the one day. Efforts to alter the fixture failed so now, as if they needed one, Cork have a cause.

In the win over Monaghan, they displayed tremendous spirit to win a game that looked like slipping away from them and if they are as determined again, it will take a huge display from Galway to dislodge the champions.

Brid Stack showed great leadership and those around her responded, none more so then Eimear Scally, Orla Finn and Emma Farmer, and the vast reservoir of experience within the squad looks enough for a Cork win.

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