Sunday 22 October 2017

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Another action packed weekend of club action

Wednesday, 4th October, 2017 5:46pm

Na Piarsaigh vs Blackrock

An intriguing encounter here between two city rivals who have been out of the limelight at this level for some time now and both with desires to end an overdue wait for ultimate glory.

There was contrasting fortunes in their respective quarter-finals. Na Piarsaigh confidently saw off the challenge of Bandon, while Blackrock just got over the line against a gritty Newcestown, although to be fair, conditions were very poor on the night.

It is quite obvious that ending Glen’s reign as champions has given Na Piarsaigh a huge boost, and with their Under 21s also going well, they will enter this game in confident mood.

Christopher Joyce has been excellent in defence, as has Adam Dennehy and captain Eoin Moynihan, while the attack has also reaped a rich reward with their scoring returns especially Padraig Goold, Shane Forde and Padraig Guest who has shown nerves of steel with his free taking.

Blackrock have battled their way to this semi-final, a few close shaves on the way but a sign maybe that their young team are maturing and winning games they might have lost in the past.

John Cashman, Stephen Murphy and Niall Cashman anchor a solid defence, John O’Sullivan is an industrious midfielder, while the attack functions well with Alan O’Callaghan, Michael O’Halloran and Shane O’Keeffe impressing.

Interesting game in prospect, two very young and lively teams, but a slight fancy for Na Piarsaigh who might just have a bit more fire power in attack.

Sarsfields vs Imokilly

Two sides that came through testing replays at the weekend which means a third successive week in championship action and that will help Imokilly, as the more games divisional sides get, the better for their preparation.

However, they will be concerned at the concession of goals, and while Sars' did not really threaten a goal in their win over UCC, they will be aware that they can breach a defence that has looked shaky in recent outings.

On the other hand, they have an excellent attack and their capacity to hit points is a good trait in any team, and when you have forwards like Seamus Harnedy, Paudie O’Sullivan and Mark O’Keeffe, you can feel confident of racking up a high score. Brian Lawton is a very hard working midfielder while Niall O’Leary and John Cronin have done well in defence.

Sars battled well in their two games against a strong UCC side and they will take confidence from the manner in which they survived these searching tests. Daniel Kearney was outstanding last week and was the stand out player with excellent support from Jack O’Connor, Conor O’Sullivan, Eoin Quigley, Craig Leahy and Tadgh Óg Murphy.

Sars have been among the favourites for the title from a long way out and they have justified that tag in their last couple of games and on that evidence they should have enough to edge this one.

Both games are being played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and it’s great that the stadium is about to witness some club action and all involved are surely looking forward to what should be a hectic and exciting few weeks for all involved.

Premier Intermediate Hurling Final

A huge night for Mallow and Kanturk as they are just 60 minutes away from senior hurling in 2018, and both have football finals coming up as well, giving lie to the theory that you cannot play both codes.

This has the makings of a cracking decider between two sides who are geographically not that far apart and with quality players on both teams.

Anthony Nash, John and Lorcan McLoughlin, Darren Browne, Aidan Walsh and Lorcan O’Neill for Kanturk, while Killian O’Connor, Fionn O’Neill, Cormac Murphy, Pa Herlihy, Aaron Sheehan and Sean Hayes are key men for Mallow.

Very little between them I would expect, but a nod for Mallow who are a physically imposing side that might be enough.

Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday at 7.30pm is the venue for this decider, and like the two hurling semi-finals on Sunday, it’s live on C103.

Intermediate Championship

In the intermediate hurling both semi-finals are down for decision; on Saturday at 5.45pm in Páirc Uí Rinn, it’s Mayfield vs Aghada with the latter’s greater experience at this grade might just give them an edge, while in Coachford at 4pm it's a mid-Cork derby between Ballincollig and Éire Óg, local derbies take on a life of their own but the odds favour an Éire Óg win.

Ladies Football and Camogie

CIT is the venue for the senior final of the ladies football championship as once again old rivals Mourneabbey and St Val's do battle at 5pm; Mourneabbey are the reigning champions and will be favourites to retain their title.

In the SE Systems Senior Camogie Championship, Ballincollig face a tough task when they meet former champions Milford on Saturday at 2pm. On Sunday, it's Carbery vs St Catherines, 5pm start here, both games are on in Castle Road.

Brinny is the venue on Saturday for the Intermediate Final, a real local derby here at 1.30pm, with neighbours Enniskeane and Newcestown going head to head.

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