Castlehaven beat Cratloe in their AIB Munster GAA Football Senior Club Championship quarter-final match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Tom Beary/Sportsfile

Another action-packed weekend coming up

It may very well be the last weekend in November but there is no let up in the action, with big games across all codes this coming weekend, and in fact 2 Cork ladies football teams are heading across the channel for All-Ireland Quarter-Finals.

AIB Munster Senior Football SF

Castlehaven v Rathgormac on Sunday in Fraher Field at 1.30pm

“It was exactly as tough as we expected but look delighted to get the job done and get over the line, and now looking forward to the semi-final.”

Castlehaven manager James McCarthy after their extra-time win over Cratloe, whose defensive formation did not make for pretty viewing as he acknowledged. “Not really but that is the way the game is played now. I would much prefer if it was more open but we have to plan for the what opposition do and I presume the next day will be the same.”

Rathgormac are a team that the ‘Haven are familiar with. “We have played them in the past and know it won’t be easy but we are where we want to be and getting ready for a Munster semi-final in November is no bad thing.”

The reality though even in the tight confines of the Fraher Field in Waterford, this is a game Castlehaven will be expected to win; although to be fair, Waterford teams have made it difficult for some Cork clubs in the past.

Rathgormac despite finishing with 13 men got the better of The Nire 1-9 to 0-6 in the county final with Jason Curry bagging 1-4, while Billy Power, Conor Murray, Jason Gleeson and Stephen Curry are others who have made important contributions, and they have displayed a level of consistency in all their games.

Castlehaven though having got a tricky quarter-final out of their system, considering it was just 2 weeks after winning their first county title in 10 years, will be in much better shape for this game.

There is a level of experience throughout the team; Damien Cahalane, Rory Maguire, Mark Collins and Conor Cahalane work very hard out the field while the attack with Brian and Michael Hurley, Jack Cahalane and Robbie Minihane are very effective near goal.

Brian Hurley’s current form will make him very hard to contain and while Rathgormac will probably shut up shop, there is too much quality all over the field.

The ‘Haven should progress to the Munster Final.

AIB Munster Intermediate Football SF

Cill Na Martra v Milltown-Castlemaine on Sunday in Cill Na Martra at 1.30pm

Well it may not be Fossa and the Clifford brothers that are landing in the Gaelthacht on Sunday but nevertheless Cill Na Martra still have a tough task against the Kerry champions.

Coach John Evans said: “Whoever it is, we will be ready for them and will get a warm welcome and we will give it our best shot.”

Cork’s record is in this grade is poor, regular wins are recorded over teams from every other county, but then the Kingdom champions normally win it out.

Milltown won a cracker in Tralee last Sunday and afterwards their manager Mark Burke hoped they would park the celebrations and quickly focus on the trip across the county bounds shortened now by the new bypass.

It was generally felt, in Kerry anyway, that Milltown were better balanced than Fossa and despite the Cliffords’ heroics (0-14 out of 0-18), that proved to be the case, which makes Cill Na Martra’s task that bit harder..

Eanna O’Connor, Cathal Moriarty, Cillian Burke, David Roche, Brendan Casey and Pa Wrenn were all pivotal to last Sunday’s success and will be again in this game.

John Evans knows enough about Kerry football and will have prepared his side accordingly.

Once again the Dineen brothers, John Furey, Michael Desmond, Anthony Cooney, Danny O’Connell and Graham Vaughan will be asked to perform at their very best if Cork’s recent record against Kerry opposition is to be slightly amended - you feel though even at their best, it might not be enough.

AIB Munster Junior Football SF

Kilmurry v Feenagh-Kilmeady on Saturday in Cloughduv at 1.30pm

Like the hurlers of St Catherine’s, Kilmurry put their county final defeat behind them to record a comfortable 2-16 to 1-6 win in the quarter-final and now with home advantage, in a manner of speaking, will be warm favourites to progress to a 2nd Munster final in a row.

Feenagh-Kilmeedy had a bye into the semi-final, but were in hurling action and won last weekend, so they will be up to championship pace and keen to maintain their push for a double final appearance.

Like Kilmurry, they lost their county final, and were beaten on penalties in their county hurling final.

Luke Ryan, Colm Ryan, John O’Gorman are among their better known players, even though are more known for their hurling prowess.

Liam Wall remains a key player for Kilmurry and with Brian Hinchon, William Ronan, James O’Mullane, Lawrence Aisling, Padraig Brehanu and Sean warren all showing good form, they look well equipped to win and should.

Co-Op Superstores County Junior Hurling Final

Nemo Rangers v Harbour Rovers on Sunday in Páirc Uí Rinn at 2pm

An intriguing encounter here between two sides that had shown resilience in reaching this final especially in their respective semi-finals. Harbour Rover struggled early on against Carrig Na bFhear but were well on top by the close of play, while it took a very late gaol for Nemo to get the better of Ballinora.

This is Nemo’s 2nd year in a row in the county series; last season they lost to eventual winners Erin’s Own, who are now the Premier Junior Champions and they did play in D7 of the county league so that might help them.

Equally though this is a very solid Harbour Rovers team who can call on the very experienced Stephen Condon in the full-forward line, while Jerome Fitzgibbon, Sean Finn, team captain Eric O’Donoghue and David Pyne bring a wealth of experience to the side.

The defeat of their footballers in the county final has also seen a number of key players rejoin Sean Hayes' squad and that gives them further options.

James Masters remains a vital player them in goal, while others that have impressed include Kevin O’Donovan, the Cronins Mark and Stephen, Ronan Dalton, Peter Morgan, Jack Coogan and Barry Cripps.

Not an easy game to call, but the experience Nemo have in winning finals might just be enough to get them over the line.

The match is live on C103.

Bon-Secours County Junior Football Final

Mayfield V Canovee on Sunday in Páirc Uí Rinn at 4pm

Since the commencement of the county series in this championship, Canovee have been tipped by many to lift the title and looking at their wins to date it’s hard to argue with that assessment.

In the quarter-final they put 5-13 past Lisgoold and then added 4-11 to their scoring in the semi-final win over a Castlemagner side many felt would test them.

For Mayfield, their defence will need to be at the top of their game. The city champions had a bye into the quarter-final and then in the semi-final were well in control against Ballygarvan, lost their way for a bit and it took a late Nicky Kelly point to secure their place in the final.

This might actually suit Mayfield as they are coming in under the radar and for some clubs the favourites tag does not sit well, will Canovee be different?

There is little doubt though they are a quality team, well balanced all over the field.

Cian Cronin, Odhran O’Driscoll, Eoghan Lehane, Aidan Murphy, James Moynihan and Brian Mc Nabola have been influential players from them all season, and in Donagh Wiseman they have an excellent coach.

Mayfield though are not short on experience and some of their players featured in an All-Ireland Final win in Croke Park, hurling yes, but that will help. Nicky Kelly is still vital for them, as is Paul Condon, Daniel Lucey, Kevin Punch, David Malone, Dave O’Neill and Eolan Bond.

Canovee are favourites and could justify that tag, but Mayfield are well capable of causing an upset.

What odds a city double, and again like the hurling final, the match is live on C103.


AIB Munster Club Final

Sarsfields v Drom-Inch at Clonoulty-Rossmore on Sunday at 2pm

The first point that must be made here is that despite a Tipperary team in the final, I understand Sars have no issue with the venue as the original fixture was McNamara Park in Ennis, a strange choice - at least it’s only an hour up the motorway.

Drom-Inch are the holders, in fact this is their 5th final in a row, and showed just why with a stunning extra-time win over Del Sa Salle from Waterford in the semi-final. At one stage they led by all of 9 points, all would suggest Sars will need to be at their very best on Sunday.

Eimear McGrath bagged 1-8 out of 1-13, while Miriam Campion, Katie Dwyer, Aoife McGrath and Caroline Shanahan are big players for the reigning champions.

Sars have come through 2 tough games in succession and this will be their third week in a row playing and with a couple of dual players thrown in, it’s been a hectic and fatigue could be a factor, especially as 3 players will be in London on Saturday with Glanmire.

They looked in control in the semi-final and a late goal by Newcastle-West made for nervy finish, but to their relief the referee played very little added time.

Claire Mullins, Niamh O’Callaghan, Molly Lynch, Lucy Allen, Kate Fennessy and Hollie Herlihy have delivered when the need was greatest in recent games, they will need to do so again on Sunday but it all points to the champions retaining their title.

Ladies Football

Two Cork clubs head across the water this weekend to play their respective quarter-finals in the Current Account All-Ireland Club Championship.

Both are in action on Saturday at 11.30am. In Clydebanl Scotland in the Junior Championship, O’Donovan Rossa play Glasgow Gaels, while Ruislip in London is the venue for the Intermediate Championship where it’s Glanmire v Tir Connaill Gaels after which the dual players will make a quick return for the Camogie Final on Sunday.

The expectation is that both Cork teams will progress to the semi-finals, safe travels to all.

Cork Camogie Board

On Sunday next in Castle Road, the board are holding a Christmas fair and bric-a-brac sale from 10am to 4pm, and all monies raised will go to the upkeep and development of the venue, a new pitch was laid during the summer and it’s a credit to all involved.

It is a venture worth supporting so why not drop on Sunday?