Kevin Mahony of Ballygunner in action against Paul Leopold of Sarsfields during the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship quarter-final match at Walsh Park in Waterford. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Newcestown in search of double

It may be the 3rd weekend of November but the action continues with several big games scheduled - none more so the Bon Secours Senior A football final and 3 exciting QF games in the Munster club football championships.

Bon Secours Senior A Football Final

Newcestown v Dohenys on Saturday at Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 5pm

A few weeks after winning the hurling title, the majority of the Newcestown players are back again bidding to emulate Aghabullogue and complete a remarkable double.

Standing in their way are West Cork rivals Dohenys who have not played in 4 weeks and were really annoyed by the re-scheduling of this game following the draw in the hurling decider.

That might give them that extra bit of motivation, but only if it’s channelled in the right direction, and they were very impressive in their semi-final win over Knockngaree, but will the lay-off affect them?

By contrast Newcestown are coming in on the crest of a wave and even captain Luke Meade said: “We don’t feel under any great pressure; if we had lost the hurling final maybe but not now.

“We had a few days celebrations and then got back at for this game, and we know Dohenys are a very good team and it’s going to be a huge test.”

Eoin Lavers is the Dohenys captain and despite everything is looking forward to Sunday. “It’s a big day for the town and the club and we are really looking forward to it. The preparations have been good and while the extra couple of weeks won’t help, we won’t be using it as an excuse. We have to go up and try and get the job done.”

There is a lot of quality in both sides and with it being a local derby it has the potential to be a cracker.

Dohenys will look to Sean Daly, Cullan Barry, Johnny Kelly, and the inside threat of Fionn Herlihy and Mark Buckley and this duo will need to be curbed if Newcestown are to win.

Newcestown rarely countenance defeat as we have seen in recent games in both codes. Tadhg Twomey, Richard O’Sullivan, David Buckley, Trevor Horgan and Colm Dineen are well versed in the art of winning tight games as I expect this one to be.

Games between neighbours take on a life of their own and are hard to call, but I’m going for Newcestown to complete the double and return to the top grade in football just like they did in hurling.

The match is live on C103.

AIB Munster Senior Football

Castlehaven v Cratloe on Sunday in Castlehaven at 1.30pm

The foresight of those in charge some years ago to build a stand at their lovely grounds is now bearing fruit as the newly crowned Cork champions get set to welcome Cratloe there on Sunday in what should be a very special day.

In contrast to Cork’s very poor record in the hurling, the football equivalent is much better, with both St Finbarr’s and Nemo Rangers twice being recent winners and the ‘Haven will be keen to maintain that standard.

Naturally they celebrated their 6th title well into last week, but James McCarthy is smart enough to know that chances like this do not come around that often, 2013 was their last venture into Munster, and he will be focussed on getting the job on the field done.

Cratloe are a very seasoned side and they are managed by former Clare boss Colm Collins, who knows a thing or two about beating Cork teams, and he and his players will relish this challenge.

It was their first time in 9 years winning the title and Collins’ three sons Podge, Sean and David all played important part in that win.

Others to impress were Cathal McInerney - he bagged 1-6 in the win, Mike Brennan and Diarmuid Ryan, and they will certainly feel confident of winning even away from home.

The ‘Haven though will surely take a bounce from their win over Nemo and especially the manner in which they won, trailing with 56 minutes on the clock they hit the last 3 points, a sure sign that they have the belief in the squad.

In Brian and Michael Hurley they have quality forwards with the Cahalane brothers, Damien, Conor and Jack all excellent at what they do, add in Rory Maguire and team captain Mark Collins and there’s nice balance to the team.

This could be a tricky contest with it likely to go the distance, but if the Hurley brothers hit form, the ‘Haven should prevail.

It has the makings of a very special afternoon and it’s a trip I’m really looking forward to making.

AIB Munster Intermediate Football

Cill Na Martra v Kilmihill on Sunday at Cill Na Martra at 1.30pm

Like Castlehaven, it’s a special occasion for this proud and progressive club when they get the opportunity to host this huge game on Sunday, and while they will work hard to ensure everything goes to plan the priority is to win the match.

They showed tremendous resolve to win a thrilling county final when it looked as if the cup was heading to Bantry, and they may need that again on Sunday.

In the corresponding championship last year, Kanturk even in Ennis were comfortable winners over Kildysart, so maybe the quality in the Cork championship is that bit better than in Clare.

The Clare final was a close affair with Kilmihill prevailing by just 1 point 1-13 to 1-12 over Kilrush-Shamrocks; they have gone through the season unbeaten, and made a quick return to senior one year after their relegation.

Theres is a very experienced squad with players like Declan Downes and Paul Reidy.

Cill Na Martra while they enjoyed the few days after the county win quickly got back into training for this game and are probably under that bit more pressure by playing at home, but that is surely a help.

The depth in their squad is also a factor as the introduction of a couple of players in the closing stages of the county final certainly helped swing the tie their way.

In that final they looked well on top at times, but then seemed to lose their way but the manner in which they won will give them huge confidence for Sunday’s encounter.

Sean Foirreidh, Gearoid O’Goillidhe, Ciaran O’Duinnin, Graham O’Mochain were all very effective and have been throughout the championship.

Two players that made an impact when brought on the final were Michael Desmond and Shane Dineen - he kicked two vital points and they made be used in that role again.

Cill Na Martra by virtue of home advantage might start as favourites but this is a strong Kilmihill outfit and only a consistent display will get them over the line - anything less might not be enough.

AIB Munster Junior Football

Kilmurry v Sean Treacys on Saturday at 1.30pm in Templetouhy

Kilmuury find themselves in a similar scenario to the hurlers of St Catherines’s having lost the county final and to their credit they delivered a winning performance last Saturday.

For long periods in the final, Kilmurry looked like winners but were stunned by the ‘Barr’s late flourish how they have respond to that loss will shape Saturday’s contest.

After their win last week, Catherine’s manager Denis Walsh said: “We saw this game (v Ardmore) as the ideal way to get the final out of our system and not wait until next August to do so.” If Kilmurry adopt the same approach, they will be in a good position to win.

It’s also the 2nd year in a row they are in this championships and also playing Tipperary opposition again. They beat Thurles Sars last season, and on the basis that the standard at this level in Cork is higher, they will start as favourites.

In Liam Wall, William Ronan, Rory Duggan, Padraig Brehanu, Alexander Aisling and James O’Mullane, they have very good players.

They look well equipped to win and set up a semi-final meeting with Feenagh Kilmeedy from Limerick in two weeks time at a Cork venue - yet another incentive to keep their season alive.

County Junior A Championship semi-finals

The fact that the Premier Junior champions now represent Cork in the Munster championship, the prize on offer for the winners of these championships is now promotion to the higher grade for next season, and that should ensure some competitive games over the weekend. The four semi-finals are been played as double headers in Páirc Uí Rinn.

In the Co-Op Superstores Hurling on Saturday at 2pm, it’s Harbour Rovers against Carraig Na bFhear where the East Cork side will start as favourites.

At 4pm Nemo Rangers fresh from a cracking win over Belgooly will face Ballinora who demolished Clonakilty and this has the makings of a real cracker.

Shane Kingston is a key player for the Muskerry champions but Nemo without football commitments and a few players back along with Mark Cronin, Kevin O’Donovan and the ageless James Masters in goal might just shade this one.

It’s the Bon Secours Football last four on Sunday with Canovee and Castlemagner getting proceedings underway at 1pm. Both impressed in their quarter-finals especially Canovee who racked up a big score in demolishing Lisgoold - if they are as effective again they will be hard to beat.

Ballygarvan and Mayfield follow at 3pm and the concern for the city winners is that it’s been a few weeks since they played while Ballygarvan won a tight contest against Kilavullen. Mayfield have the experience of playing at a higher level not so long ago, and that might give them the edge.

Big weekend for Glanmire/Sars dual players

Their hurlers may have exited the championship tamely on Sunday last but there is plenty of Munster action for the club this weekend with two huge games coming up.

On Saturday the recently crowned Senior Camogie champions head to Clonlara in Clare for a preliminary round clash with Truagh/Clonlara at 1.30pm.

Sars were very impressive in winning the Cork championship and will be keen to extend their season although like their hurlers and also their ladies football team, training will have been challenging in the light of events of recent weeks.

They have excellent players in Niamh McAllen, Molly Lynch, Claire Mullins, Katyln Sheehan and Niamh O’Callaghan, and while Clare camogie has improved immeasurably, Sars should prevail.

Mallow then on Sunday at 12.45pm is the venue for the Munster Ladies Football Intermediate Final where Glanmire will face the Limerick champions Monagea who had a big win over the Kerry champions in their semi-final.

Glanmire themselves were comfortable winners over Boherlahan-Dualla in their semi-final with Michelle Dullea and Clodagh O’Donovan getting the goals while Kayla O’Connor, Ellen Twomey, Abbie O’Mahoney and Niamh McAllen all impressing.

It’s going to be hectic for dual players Ellen Murphy, Ava Fitzgerald and Evie Twomey but 2 Munster championship wins would make it a special weekend. Glanmire contested the Junior Final in 2018, so a win here would be just reward for their efforts.