Football quarter-finals among weekend highlights
With the last four in the hurling championships now known, it’s the turn of the footballers this weekend with the quarter-finals of the Bon Secours County Championship scheduled.
In the immediate aftermath of their win over Clonakilty, the Castlehaven manager James McCarthy said: “It’s great to be in the quarter-final and be heading back to Páirc Uí Chaoimh.”
Well they are not. In a move that has surprised many, none of the games are been played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. This is the first time in a number of years that the QFs are been played in club grounds, all excellent venues it must be said.
By comparison, last weekend between Friday and Sunday, 5 hurling games were played in the stadium, with another in Páirc Uí Rinn.
The move is designed to maximise attendance and that is understandable, but does it not send out a signal to the club footballer, when the corresponding fixtures in hurling get top billing in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Premier Senior Football QFs
Nemo Rangers v Clonakilty on Saturday in Bandon at 5pm
The champions without being overly impressive to date are still standing and the longer they go, the better they get as they have proved time and time again.
This is a repeat of a group game last year, which Nemo won, but was quickly removed from the memory bank as it was a dour affair, with Clon operating in a very defensive manner. They were far more adventurous in their meeting with Castlehaven in the last game and if they adopt a similar approach, we could get a lively encounter.
Tomas Clancy, Maurice Shanley, Ross Mannix and Liam O’Donovan are big players for the West Cork outfit.
Nemo have a few injury worries but in Paul Kerrigan, Luke Connolly, Kevin O’Donovan, Mark Cronin and Barry O’Driscoll if fit, they have players who know exactly what is required at this level and that gives them enough to get over the line.
Castlehaven v Ballincollig on Sunday in Enniskeane at 4pm
Castlehaven will start this game as favourites but mindful that in recent meetings Ballincollig have matched and beaten the ‘Haven in big games - 1 defeat, 1 draw and 4 wins in their last 6 meetings. Ballincollig come into this clash on the back of an impressive and huge win over neighbours Éire Óg, and Liam O’Connell available is another plus.
That said the ‘Haven are equally buoyant and moving well and with Brian Hurley looking as sharp as ever, it is easy to see why they are among the contenders for ultimate honours. Mark Collins is still as effective as ever, the Cahalanes manage the dual task with ease and with Rory Maguire and Michael Hurley in good form, they will be hard to beat. Cian Kiely, Darragh O’Mahoney, Cian Dorgan and Sean Kiely will lead the Ballincollig challenge and they are still without the injured Luke Fahy. This could very well be the game of the weekend, and the ‘Haven to shade it but it may take more than 60 minutes to achieve it.
St Michaels v Douglas play-off on Friday in Páirc Uí Rinn at 7.30pm
I think I am correct in saying that since the current format was introduced, this is the first play-off in either hurling or football as they were even level on scoring difference, so both will be glad of this unique opportunity, especially now that both exited the hurling championship last weekend.
Michael’s pulled out a great win over Mallow, who beat Douglas in round 2 of the group phase and Brian Hartnett’s late goal looked enough for Douglas in their game with the ‘Barr’s, but Ian Maguire’s late point denied them a direct route to the QF.
When they met in the group stage, Douglas led for long periods but were pegged back when late goals - one a header by Adam Murphy - looked to have levelled it before Sean Powter kicked the match winning point.
The local derby aspect has to be factored in and with Kevin Flahive, Hartnett, Powter and possibly Shane Kingston in their side, Douglas with a consistent 60 minutes might have enough in hand to set up a QF meeting with Duhallow in a weeks time.
Senior A QFs
Ballingeary v Knocknagree on Saturday in Clondrohidat 5pm
An interesting encounter here and the Duhallow lads kept their season alive with a good win over Kanturk last time out and that will give them a boost. If Eoghan Mc Sweeney can deliver a big display, they could get the better of a Ballingeary side who will look to Ben and Liam Shorten who are well versed in the art of scoring.
A hesitant nod to Knocknagree here though.
Kanturk v Newcestown on Sunday in Coachford at 2pm
Two clubs laden with dual players, which gives lie to the theory that you can’t play both codes and both having recorded big hurling wins last weekend will be in buoyant mood for this one.
Hard one to call - the Walshs and McLoughlins remain key for Kanturk while Luke Meade, David Buckley and Tadgh Twomey really impressed for Newcestown who hit 1-19 in their last round win over Bishopstown. They might not hit as much but they still look capable of winning this one.
Premier Intermediate QFs
Cill Na Martra v Iveleary on Friday in Macroom at 7.30pm
Now this should be some clash! These are two sides not very far apart in the hotbed of football in the Gaelthacht area of Muskerry and expect another large crowd to witness this encounter.
There are good players on both teams Shane Dineen and Michael Desmond for Cill Na Martra with Cathal Vaughan and Chris Óg Jones on the Iveleary side, who have made great strides in recent years and could very well make another important one here.
Nemo Rangers v Bantry Blues on Sunday in Enniskeane at 2pm
Going into their last group games, both of these sides had different ambitions; Nemo to avoid a possible relegation play-off, Bantry eyeing a direct route to the semi-final and here they are now vying for that spot.
Nemo resurrected themselves with a couple of late goals and showed their capacity to win tight encounters, while a draw with Bandon sent the West Cork side down this route, but they will be favoured to win this one especially if Ruairi Deane is fit to play, but as we always say never underestimate a team of Nemo’s quality.
Dromtarriffe v Boherbue on Saturday in Kanturk at 2pm
As with all local derbies, hard to call and given the rivalry in Duhallow football, it is easy to understand why this game should attract a fair sized attendance’ a very slight fancy for Dromtarriffe.
Adrigloe v St Vincent’s onSaturday in Inchigeela at 5pm
Blake Murphy is the big player here. In the win over Glanmire, he bagged 3-6 and if he repeats that type of scoring, the northside club could very well secure a last four spot. That said, Adrigole have impressed to date and will really test St Vincent’s who might just have the edge.
Cullen v Cobh in Donoughmore Saturday 5pm verdict - Cobh
Urhan v Millstreet in Kealkil Saturday 5pm verdict - Millsteeet
Relegation play-offs, all on Sunday at 3pm
Mallow v Carrigaline in Blarney verdict - Mallow
Fermoy v Ilen Rovers in Brinny verdict - Fermoy
Macroom v Na Piarsaigh in Ovens verdict - Na Piarsaigh
Glenville v Ballinora in Riverstown verdict - Ballinora
Kinsale v St Michaels in Ballygarvan verdict - Kinsale.
SE Systems Senior Camogie Championship
In a week when 11 Cork players were among the PWC All-Star nominees, and congratulations to all, while Saoirse McCarthy and Amy O’Connor are shortlisted for the player of the year award, several of them will be in direct opposition with the QFs of the Senior Championship all scheduled on Sunday.
Castle Road will host 2, at 12pm, it’s Sarsfields v Inniscarra, while at 3pm it’s St Finbarr’s against Clougduv. Brinny is the venue for the meeting of champions Seandun and Courcey Rovers at 4.45pm, while in Caherlag at 3.30pm, St Catherine’s play Éire Óg.
The semi-final draw will take place on Monday night at the County Board meeting.
It’s semi-final time in the Intermediate Championship with both games on Sunday. Glanmire will play Rosscarbery in The Pike at 3pm, while Naomh Abán will have home advantage for the meeting with Valley Rovers, 4.30pm start here.
In the Senior Championship Group 1, Éire Óg play Clonakilty tonight (Thursday) in Ovens at 7.30pm, while in the same group on Sunday, Kinsale play Inch Rovers in Kinsale at 2pm.
Two games in Group 2 on Sunday both at 3pm: Aghada at home to Castlehaven, and an Avondhu derby in Fermoy between the home side and Mourneabbey.
Jimmy Brohan RIP
Jimmy’s passing on Tuesday has evoked great sadness throughout the county and beyond and especially in his beloved Blackrock, a club he served with distinction on and off the field. He was the club president and was honoured for his outstanding service when they named the hurling alley after him.
Jimmy won 2 county senior medals, along with junior and intermediate football medals with St Michael’s.
An All-Ireland medal winner with Cork in 1954 and he also won 5 Railway Cup medals in the blue of Munster when that competition was at its peak. He was regarded as one of the finest defenders in the game at that time.
On retiring from playing, he immersed himself in coaching and administration with Blackrock and with Cork, was a selector on 4 All-Ireland winning teams, including the 3 in a row of 1976- 78, while 1986 was extra special as his nephews Jim and Tom Cashman were on the team with Tom as captain.
I had the pleasure of knowing and interviewing Jimmy and he was a thorough gentleman courteous and helpful at all times and a real proud Blackrock man and the many warm tributes that have paid to him are testimony to his standing within CLCG.
Sincere sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues in Blackrock Hurling Club and St Michaels Football Club at this sad time.
Ar dheis Dé ar a anam dhílis.