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Senior hurling dominates weekend

Wednesday, 29th August, 2018 4:42pm

After the disappointment of the Gaelic Grounds last Sunday, there's very little time for the majority of the players to dwell on it as they are quickly back into the knockout phase of the Senior County Championship, and there's some cracking games down for decision.

Sarsfields vs Carrigtwohill

As always there’s an East Cork derby in the mix and this one gets the action underway on Friday in Ballynoe, and it all points to a win for Sars.

Carrigtwohill battled hard against Blackrock in the first round but ultimately a limited attack proved their undoing, and their league form has not improved since that loss.

By contrast Sars' have comfortably made the last eight, and with Daniel Kearney, Jack O’Connor, Conor O’Sullivan and Liam Leahy among their key men, they will be hard to beat and should win.

 

Douglas vs St Finbarrs

The first of a very attractive double-header in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday at 3.30pm and a lively contest in prospect between these southside rivals.

The ‘Barrs struggled to get over Killeagh in Round 2, they hit a staggering 23 wides, but on the plus side it was a championship outing and maybe the bad game is out of their system. Remember last year? They were poor in losing to Ballymartle and could, and should, have beaten the then champions in Round 3.

Conor Cahalane was one of Cork’s best players last Sunday and his pace could trouble Douglas, and he will get good support from Billy Hennessey, Damien Cahalane, Glenn O’Connor, Eoghan Finn (if fit) and the experienced Robert O’Mahoney.

Douglas, though, look a different team this year and the addition of Noel Furling to the management team is paying dividends. They have quality all over the field, especially in attack, which could now include a fit-again Alan Cadogan.

Add in Cian McCarthy, Brian Turnbull, Stephen Moylan, Eoin Cadogan and Shane Kingston and it’s easy to see why many see them as potential champions. The ‘Barrs will really be up for this one, but Douglas look better balanced and get the nod to win.

Glen Rovers vs Midleton

The tie of the round some would suggest and it’s hard to disagree with that. Equally it’s not all about Patrick Horgan and Conor Lehane (who is carrying a knock and rated doubtful), it's important though how imperative both of these talented players are to their teams.

Both had impressive wins in the first round but such was the gap, how will they manage? Experience on the sideline will be a factor. Glen’s league form has been good, while surprisingly Midleton lost to Na Piarsaigh recently, Lehane was an absentee that morning.

Meetings between these sides in championship in recent years have been rare, but with such good players on view it has the makings of a cracker. Luke Farrell, Seadna Smith, Alwin Kearney, Paul Haughney and Patrick White are key for the Magpies, while the men from Blackpool, who will be without the injured Adam Lynch, will look to Brian Moylan, Dean Brosnan, David Dooling, Stephen McDonnell and Dave Noonan to get them over the line.

A close one but Glen to prevail.

Erin’s Own vs UCC

The difficulty with this game is who will the College have? Although to be fair, in the last few campaigns the team listed on the programme altered little from that which would actually take the field.

If all players that are eligible to play actually turn up, depending on club commitments elsewhere, they could have a very strong team on duty and a match for most sides.

Erins Own have been consistent campaigners in the championship in recent years, runners-up and semi-finalists, and have a well balanced side on duty.

The Murphys, Eoghan, Kieran and Shane, Shay Bowen and Robbie O’Flynn all make important contributions, and with a better preparation, they could shade this contest but they will be tested by the students.

Bandon vs Newcestown

A unique occasion, and the decision to play this game in the heart of West Cork, Clonakilty on Saturday at 6pm, is the correct one and hopefully it will attract a sizeable attendance.

If ever a local derby was hard to call, this one is, they are neighbours and the keenest of rivals so expect a real rousing battle here. Not only is a place in Round 4 up for grabs, more importantly the bragging rights to the winner, until they meet again in championship.

Newcestown had a great win over St Finbarrs in the first round, equally Bandon were impressive in their victory over Na Piarsaigh, and with Cork players Luke Meade and Michael Cahalane lining up in opposite corners it should a lively tussle.

Maybe neither will win, what odds a draw and replay?

Bride Rovers vs

 

Another intriguing contest in prospect here and I must say I was very impressed with the Rovers in the manner in which they saw off Na Piarsaigh last time out and that will fill them with confidence, in a team mixed with youth and experience.

Brian Murphy is still giving great leadership as is Barry Johnson, with the Roche twins, Eoin and Brian, responding with quality displays and I expect them to win.

Bishopstown vs Imokilly

The champions will be strongly fancied here, and with the addition of Colm Spillane and Bill Cooper, their hand is strengthened further, but as with UCC, their preparation might be limited.

Bishopstown impressed in their win over Kanturk with Patrick Cronin, Shane O’Neill and Ken O’Halloran turning in excellent displays.

It’s hard to see Imokilly losing, but there’s always a shock result in championship, could it be here?

Elsewhere

Plenty of games in the other grades beginning on Friday night. In the Premier Intermediate hurling, Mark Coleman is vital to Blarney’s prospects of overcoming Watergrashill, while Carrigaline will be expected to win their clash with Inniscarra.

In the Intermediate grade, Kilbrittain and Meelin replay their game, and with 14 men for over 55 minutes, the West Cork lads earned a draw so that will give them a boost and maybe enough to win.

Dungourney will be favoured to get the better of Blackrock’s second team but there is a lot of good young hurlers in this Rockies' side and they are capable of causing an upset. The meeting of Kildorrery and Aghabullogue should be interesting with the latter on a roll, and slight favourites.

The hectic weekend championship programme is completed with two Premier Intermediate Football games. Kanturk buoyed by their great win over Castletownbere might have too much for Fermoy, while the meeting of Bantry Blues and Macroom should produce another interesting contest with the latter fancied to progress.

Finally, the best of luck to Conor Counihan, Brian Cuthbert and Graham Canty as they begin the process of formulating a long term plan for the development of Cork football.

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