FOUR teams remain in the chase for promotion to Cork County Premier Intermediate status next season.
That four will be reduced to just the two finalists after this weekend’s two semi-finals involving Éire Óg against Sarsfields and Kildorrery against Aghabullogue.
IAHC semi-final, Éire Óg v Sarsfields, Blarney, 2pm:
It’s been a contrasting time for these two clubs, very good for the Ovens based unit, not so good down in Riverstown.
Éire Óg are on the double trail, the club’s premier intermediate footballers through to the semi-final after defeating St Michael’s last weekend.
On Sunday it’s the turn of the hurlers against Sars with a final place at stake. Sars are very dependent on this team to collect silverware after the demise of their seniors and minors Great credit is due to the club, however, in being able to have a second team at such an advanced stage in this competition but they’ll be up against it again here.
Éire Óg went straight into the last four as a result of their form at the group stage and in doing so they put up some very high tallies, particularly so against Meelin and Douglas.
There is a fine spine to the side from fine goalkeeper Dylan Desmond out.
In Eoin O’Shea, Lar Considine, Joe and John Cooper, Roan O’Toole and Kevin Hallissey, you have a proper base.
Sars lost a couple of players to their senior side in their loss to Erin’s Own but there are a lot of very good hurlers in Riverstown these times and they will still field a formidable 15.
They will be looking again to Patrick O’Driscoll, Cormac Duggan, Killian Murphy, Eddie Gaffney and Kieran Walsh.
It’s never easy for a club’s second team to go all the way although the Rockies did it last season. Sars will not be beaten easily but the smart money will probably be on the men from Éire Óg. Success is breeding success in the club and they should prevail.
Verdict: Éire Óg.
IAHC semi-final: Kildorrery v Aghabullogue, Glantane, 2pm
TWO teak-tough sides going up against each other here with the likelihood of a close encounter.
Aghabullogue are going very well and confidence is high with players like Matt Bradley, Shane Tarrant, Niall Barry-Murphy and Luke Casey going well.
Bradley and Tarrant are their scorers-in-chief and this is a side that has proved itself against Midleton, the Glen and Mayfield.
Kildorrery have not been able to push on as well as they might have wanted after their thrilling county junior title win of a few years ago when they defeated Brian Dillons in a replay.
But they remain a strong unit with a lot of experienced hurlers in the ranks.
Peter O’Brien is still providing the goods in the scoring stakes and is an obvious danger man up front.
Michael Walsh and Finbarr Stapleton and Eamon O’Connor are very experienced players to have in any side as is James McEniry.
They were taken right to the wire in seeing off Mayfield in one of their group games and when you have that type of resilience in the side, it’s worth a lot.
This won’t be easily decided but Aghabullogue have the bit between their teeth right now.
They get a tentative nod from this quarter.