Vital games down for decision
The last two quarter-final spots will be filled after this weekend, and apart from a place in the last eight, the winners will guarantee themselves participation in the top senior grade for next season.
Ballincollig head to Ballyclough to face Kiskeam who had a good win over Mallow in the first round, but that was back in April, while their opponents were in action last weekend.
And what a performance they produced, hitting 5-15 past a shell shocked Clyda Rovers who are normally difficult to break down but Ballincollig made short work of them. Paddy Kelly pulled the strings and Cian Kiely, Cian Dorgan, JP Murphy, Darren Murphy and Garry Comerford took full advantage of their dominance to wrap the tie up early.
Kiskeam will look to Anthony Casey, AJ O’Connor, Sean O’Sullivan and Aidan O’Carroll to extend their season, but the odds favour the 2014 champions to advance to a quarter-final where Douglas await the winners.
Mallow and Newcestown meet in Coachford with the same objective as the game in Ballyclough, and this one is hard to call.
Cian O’Riordan, who was suspended for the win over St Nick’s, returns and that will add to a Mallow attack that has Ryan Harkin and Pa Herlihy as effective operators, while intercounty duo James Loughrey and Mattie Taylor bring experience to a well balanced side.
Newcestown got the better of neighbours Valley Rovers in a tight contest where Tadgh Twomey’s goal proved to be the difference; add in Cathrach Keane, Luke Meade, Mark Kelly, Gerard O’Donovan and Michael McSweeney who anchor a side that are renowned championship battlers.
Close one, but a slight fancy for Newcestown to get over the line and with it, a meeting with Ilen Rovers.
Both games are on Saturday with 5pm starts.
Premier Intermediate Hurling
There are just two games in this grade and interesting ones at that.
Carrigaline had a big win over Youghal last week, and once again, face East Cork opposition - this time it’s Aghada in Riverstown.
Brian Kelleher scored 2-10 in that win and he certainly is a key player for the south east side with Wesley O’Brien, Jack McCarthy, Killian McIntyre and David Drake offering solid support.
Aghada had a good win over Cloyne with Will Leahy and Michael Russell impressing but the big gap just might come against them and Carrigaline should prevail.
Many peoples’ favourites to win this championship are Fr O’Neills and they face a Fermoy side on Sunday in Ballynoe who enter this game on the back of their footballers’ loss last week, and with a number of dual players, they might find it hard to raise their spirit.
Of course it could very well be the opposite and this might be the very game that could re-ignite their season.
Ger Mellerick, Declan Dalton, Mark O’Keeffe and John Mellerick will lead the O’Neill’s challenge who look better equipped to win.
Páirc Uí Rinn is the venue for an intriguing clash between Éire Óg, who can call on Kevin Hallissey, Ronan O’Toole and Daniel Goulding among others, and Mayfield who had a good win over Kildorrery and with Nicky Kelly, Gavin Looney and Michael John Coffey playing key roles, they might just shade this one.
Tracton are on a good run of form and might maintain that in their clash with Blackrock’s second team; equally Douglas’ second team might not be good enough for Dripsey.
The championship ambitions of Castlemartyr and Ballinhassig may be over but they clash in a relegation battle in Ballinlough, and with Brian Lawton returning to form, the East Cork side should do enough to retain their status.
There is one game in the football championship, and having lost a number of players to their senior team, St Finbarr’s despite having a lot of players at their disposal, might not have enough to get a win over Grenagh.
The manner in which Cork won last Sunday’s final in extra-time reflects greatly on all involved in this historic victory.
Manager Bobby O’Dwyer has been a calming and experienced influence, while his decision to bring the lads home on Sunday is testimony to this and he also gives immense credit to his entire backroom team, all of whom played crucial roles throughout the campaign.
The players, of course, were exceptional. To have the confidence and composure to create and finish the levelling goal in the manner in which they did, and at the end of a gruelling contest, well it’s a measure of their ability.
Captain Conor Corbett led by example and it certainly capped an exciting few months for football in the county.
Enjoy the celebrations lads, they are well deserved.