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Club championships hot up with great ties in prospect

Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017 6:00pm

In senior hurling, Páirc Ui Rinn on Sunday hosts an enticing double-header with the unusual times of 5.30pm for Killeagh and Carbery, followed by Glen Rovers and CIT in a replay at 7.15pm.

Killeagh, fresh from their stunning and well-deserved victory over one of the championship favourites Douglas, will have to quickly re-focus for this clash.

It’s a game against one of the weaker divisional sides that they should win, once they put their fantastic exploits of last week behind them. With an experienced backroom team guiding their fortunes, they should and will win, I would expect.

Champions Glen Rovers looked to have done enough to win the first clash, but a late deflected gaol earned CIT a second chance and, having beaten Douglas in the first round, it shows that they are well capable of testing and upsetting Glen.

Of course, having team members playing elsewhere over the weekend won’t help but, to be fair, they give a committed effort and are a resilient group.

The Glen have had good preparation and with Patrick Horgan, Dean Brosnan, Graham Callanan and Brian Moylan in good form, the champions will be expected to progress.

Senior Football

Carbery, having lost narrowly to Castlehaven last week – and best wishes to Ruairi Deane for a speedy recovery from injury – are back in action on Sunday when they travel to Macroom for a third round meeting with Kiskeam.

It’s been a good campaign for last year’s Premier Intermediate champions and their win over Aghada will have done wonders for their confidence ahead of this match.

Carbery are packed with experienced players and could include Graham Canty and Alan O’Connor, who did not play against the ‘Haven. They look to have too much power for Kiskeam and it would be a major surprise if they lose this one.

On Monday, in Páirc Ui Rinn, Douglas will want to put their hurling loss behind them and in the process keep their season alive against CIT in a third round encounter that is fraught with danger for the city side.

They were somewhat unlucky to lose to Carbery Rangers in the last round and now with only one code to occupy their thoughts, it might actually benefit them.

Alan Cadogan is doubtful with an injury, but with Sean Powter, Eoin Cadogan and Ray Keating determined to extend their championship ambitions, they should win.

In Premier Intermediate Football, Castletownbere will be expected to overcome the challenge of Bandon; while in the Intermediate grade, Glenville and Ballydesmond meet in a replay, where Donnacha O’Connor’s experience might just get his side over the line.

Premier Intermediate Hurling

An interesting double-header at the quarter final stage in Páirc Ui Rinn on Saturday evening.

First up is the meeting of Cloyne and Fermoy – a repeat of their tempestuous encounter in last year’s semi-final, which the North Cork side won with a late scoring burst.

Fermoy exited the football championship last week, so having to switch so quickly might present problems, but it’s a situation they are well used to and will cope.

In the previous round, two late goals got them over the line against Carrigaline but they will not want to leave it as late this time round.

Cloyne have a mixture of youth and experience in their side and that might help them, especially if Diarmuid and Paudie O’Sullivan can get a few scores, a close one but a nod to Cloyne to shade it.

Mallow and Valley Rovers are next up and here are two clubs that are battling in hurling and football.

There are quality players on both sides, notably Cormac Murphy for Mallow and Chris O’Leary for the Rovers, who were runners up two years ago and make no secret of their desire to be a dual senior club, and they look better equipped to win this one.

An intriguing round three clash in Coachford on Sunday, where Charleville face Courcey Rovers.

The latter have not been in championship action for some time; while Charleville were involved in a cracker with Kanturk last Sunday and with Darrgah Fitzgibbon playing impressively, they should win.

City Division Finals

Ballinlough will be a hive of activity over the weekend with the Junior Hurling and Football Finals down for decision and despite the fact that all four teams will play in the county championships, it will not lessen the desire to be crowned champions.

In the football final, Whites Cross play Delaneys at 6.45pm on Saturday. The latter were champions two years ago and are favourites to win this year, but the ‘Cross impressed in beating Brian Dillons and Nemo Rangers in previous rounds and will test Delaneys.

On Sunday, at 3pm, it’s the cracking hurling decider between Nemo Rangers and Brian Dillons, who lost by one point to Mayfield in last year’s final, who then went on to county, provincial and All-Ireland glory.

Nemo have been racking up big scores and Dillons have a good squad; it should be a cracker and very hard to call a winner – a draw possibly.

Rebel Og Squads

The success at Under 17 and Minor in recent weeks has been built on the great work been done in the development squads over a number of years, winning many of the tournaments that are held during the year.

This weekend the latest group of players who will wear the red jersey embark on another weekend of activity at various grades and venues and we wish them all the best in their endeavours.

In all, eight Cork teams are in action which should make for some great hurling and let’s hope the winning run is maintained. But if not, no harm done, the players will have sampled inter-county activity which will stand them in good stead for the years ahead.

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