Wednesday 11 December 2019

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Game On

Hurling quarter-finals top the bill

Wednesday, 18th September, 2019 4:02pm

Senior Hurling

For the second round in a row, Glen Rovers encounter North Cork opposition, and once again, an intriguing contest is on the cards.

Newtown under Pat Mulcahy have impressed in this championship, lost to a late goal to Bishopstown in the first round but recovered with excellent wins, scoring six goals in the win over Newcestown, and then whipped over 25 points against a fancied Blackrock in the third round.

Despite carrying an injury into that game, Tim O’Mahoney bagged 1-5 from play and he will certainly be a handful for the Glen defence. Jamie Coughlan is an effective forward, while Darragh Howe, Conor Griffin, Cormac O’Brien, Paul O’Sullivan and Johnny Geary have all made important contributions.

Glen, by their own admission, have not played to their potential. In their opener against Midleton, a vital save by Cathal Hickey and a lovely goal from Simon Kennefick turned a possible defeat into a four point win.

It then took extra-time to see off a brilliant Charleville effort in Round 3, but Glen are generally harder to beat at the business end of the championship, but only if they produce a consistent 60 minutes.

Their record against Newtown recently has been good but they will need big displays from David Dooling, Brian Moylan, Adam O’Donovan, Dean Brosnan and Robert Downey if they are to maintain that run. As ever Patrick Horgan will be key, can Newtown contain him? If not, Glen will win.

Imokilly vs Sarsfields

The manner in which the three-in-a-row seeking champions saw off Midleton, scoring 0-34 in the process, would suggest that Sars face an impossible task in their bid to end Imokilly’s reign.

Sars bounced back after a heavy defeat in the league final to beat a fancied Douglas side in the last round, and the prospect of putting one over on their divisional rivals will give them huge motivation.

The depth in the Imokilly squad is exceptional, even without key players Paudie O’Sullivan and Colm Spillane through injury, they never looked troubled by Midleton. Bill Cooper, Declan Dalton, John Cronin and Seamus Harnedy are among a host of experienced players that anchor a side that shows no sign of letting their grip on the Sean Óg Murphy Cup go.

Sars have quality too, the depth in the squad is not as strong but the club spirit will help them, Daniel and William Kearney, Conor O’Sullivan, Jack O’Connor and Eoin Quigley are important players for them.

The odds favour an Imokilly win but Sars are a proud club and will test them. Can they beat the champions? Well sport is funny and I think they might just upset the odds.

Senior Football

 

This should provide a lively hour of football between two sides that have quality players all over the field.

Ballincollig looked impressive in their win over Kiskeam and showed great patience when in possession to ensure they got the ball to the right player when in a position to score.

There is an over reliance on Darren Murphy and Cian Dorgan for scores but then most teams find themselves in similar situations. Cian and Sean Kiely and Liam Jennings are also important players for them and there is a nice balance to their side.

Douglas remain one of the great enigmas of this championship; lots of very good players but have yet to deliver the ultimate prize in either code. The city side have a number of players with intercounty experience, Kevin Flahive, Eoin and Alan Cadogan, Sean Powter (if fit) and Shane Kingston if he plays, that’s quality if there ever was.

Hard one to call but a slight fancy for Douglas to shade it.

Ilen Rovers vs Newcestown

This one should attract a fine crowd at the well appointed Rosscarbery venue, in what is a game of huge significance for both sides. Newcestown showed their renowned battling qualities in their wins over Valley Rovers and Mallow and that will give them huge confidence. Carthach Keane, Michael McSweeney, Tadgh Twomey and Luke Meade were influential in those wins and will need to be again.

The West Cork lads have been going well all season, sparked by an impressive win over their great rivals Carbery Rangers in the first round. Dan McEoin is their main threat in attack but the experience of Kevin O’Sullivan is also very important for this emerging team, whether that will be good enough to get them over a resolute Newcestown remains to be seen, it might not.

Premier Intermediate

 

Three of the four quarter-finals take place this weekend and all close to call. St Michael’s, runners-up in the last two finals, face a tricky tie against a Na Piarsaigh side that are playing well and won promotion from Division 5 recently; equally Michael’s are going well in all grades and could edge this one.

Cill Na Martra are also showing impressive form and their only blip, if you call it that, was a loss to the ‘Barrs in the Kelleher Shield Final, no mean feat to reach that final, so they will be expected to overcome the challenge of Kanturk.

Bantry, with Ruairí Deane their key player, should be good enough to overcome the challenge of Bandon.

Intermediate Football

St Finbarrs’ remarkable run with their second team is an indication of the depth of the squad, and they might just not have enough to see off Aghabullogue.

A big Duhallow derby in Boherbue with Ballydesmond and Dromtarriffe meeting and these are two very good sides. As with all local derbies, form goes out of the window, so predicting a winner is not easy but we will take a punt on Dromtarriffe but they will need to keep a tight rein on Donnacha O’Connor.

Glanworth surprised many with their win over Mitchelstown in the last round, but might find Millstreet with Mark Ellis, Michael Vaughan and possibly Kevin Crowley in their team, a tougher side to crack.

It’s been awhile since Gabriel Rangers and Kinsale saw c’ship action so that might impact on how they perform, but a better balanced Gabriels side might just do enough.

 

nterestingly both sides must change jerseys, which is the first time I can recall this happening in several meetings in recent years.

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