Wednesday 23 May 2018

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Intermediate games are the pick of the weekend

Wednesday, 9th May, 2018 4:17pm

The countdown to the opening games in the Munster Minor and Senior Hurling Championship is well underway but before that, there are several games in the Intermediate Hurling Championship and some interesting ties are down for decision.

 

Sarsfields vs Éire Óg

The mid-Cork side had a good run last year and will be fancied to win this contest given that it is Sars' second team, who are unbeaten in the league.

Sars seniors were without a few key men for their opener against Ballyhea through injury and these lads are unlikely to be fit in time for this clash. However, they can still call on Ray Ryan, Shane Collins, Ronan Murphy and Neil Fitzpatrick.

Daniel Goulding and Kevin Hallissey are big game players for Éire Óg who should win this one tonight in Páirc Uí Rinn.

Ballygarvan vs Aghabullogue

Ovens is the venue for this clash on Friday between two evenly matched teams whose league form of late has been mixed but Aghabullogue had a good win in the football championship and that measure of experience might just get them over the line.

St Finbarrs vs Mayfield

The first of a double-header in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night, and again not easy picking a winner, although Mayfield might have the edge. Unlike last year, they are a fresher team coming into this championship and have been scoring freely in league games.

Nicky Kelly, Dan Lucey and Richard O’Keeffe are still impressing for the Junior champions of two years ago.

The ‘Barrs had a good win over Glen Rovers last week, scoring 1-19 in the process, and that will give them a boost and in Bill O’Connell, Rory McCarthy, Enda Dennehy and Eoin Hill, they have good players but it’s Mayfield who get the nod to win.

Midleton vs Blackrock

The second game in Páirc Uí Rinn between the second teams of both these clubs, and both buoyed by first round wins for their seniors, so another boost for whichever side emerge from this encounter. A hesitant nod to Midleton.

Glen Rovers vs Ballinhassig

Another encounter featuring clubs’ second teams, and again, both are entering this match on the back of good wins by their respective first teams.

In Glen Rovers' case, it was achieved without using any substitutes which could see a few lads with senior medals lining out, among them, David Busteed, Gavin Moylan, Brian Phelan, Liam Coughlan and David Cunningham - that level of experience and quality will make Ballinhassig’s task all that bit harder and Glen should prevail in Ballincollig on Saturday.

Inniscarra vs Ballymartle

Ballygarvan is the venue for this game, and with results not really going their way of late, a win would be a real boost for either side. Picking a winner is not easy, on the basis that Inniscarra’s pool of players may have a bit more depth, we will give them the edge, even with the presence of Seamus Corry in the Ballymartle side.

Others

There are four games on Sunday. Ballincollig should edge Meelin, Peter O’Brien and Michael Walsh will probably guide Kildorrery to victory over Dripsey, Tracton look too strong for Kilbrittain, while Na Piarsaigh should get the better of Barryroe.

 

Minor football

Cork’s heartbreaking loss to reigning champions Kerry in Tralee on Tuesday night means for the third time in four years, the minor footballers are deprived of an opportunity to develop at intercounty level, despite a very good display. Their efforts on the night deserved better.

It also means that the two best teams in the championship will not contest the final and I have no doubt when it is played in July, Clare will, just like they did last year, be on the wrong end of a heavy defeat.

Those charged with the running of this championship need to look seriously at the format, Munster is the only province that employs the current format, it is clearly not working and something needs to be done. The pity is that, despite a few errors, this had the makings of a very good Cork team which we will not see, some of them anyway, again until April 2019.

Camogie

Last weekend was a good one for Cork camogie teams, three wins out of three and the added bonus for the seniors after their victory over Clare.

It ensures that the final against Tipperary will now be played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh as part of a triple bill with the Cork vs Clare minor and senior hurling championship games on Sunday 20 May.

The camogie game will have a 12pm start and it’s a great move by the respective Munster Councils to give the players an opportunity to play their part in an attractive programme of games - well done to all involved.

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