TWO proud football strongholds collide, when Cill na Martra take on Knocknagree in a crunch Group 2 tie in the Bon Secours county premier intermediate football championship at Mourneabbey tomorrow at 4pm.
It’s first against second in a section also containing Naomh Aban and St Vincents with a lot on the line in this one, too.
Cill na Martra top the group on four points, one more than Knocknagree, who are a couple in front of the Ballyvourney club with the city representatives pointless at the root of the table.
The Gaeltacht side already qualified for the quarter-finals, but that won’t dilute their ambitions because a semi-final spot is also in the offing if they’re one of the two best group winners.
That’s their incentive and accounting for the former All-Ireland junior champions would add further prestige, as well.
For Knocknagree it’s all about picking up something from the tie just to keep Naomh Abán off their backs.
Cork’s Tadhg Ó Corcora could have county colleague Eoghan McSweeney for company in a side that has scoring power in Micheal Ó Deasuna and Sean O Duinnin, who’ve 2-10 between them.
St Vincent’s are in the relegation play-off spot and need a result.
The same goes for Na Piarsiagh, who meet Aghada in Group 1 because they’re also pointless and with an inferior scoring difference to Gabriel Rangers, bottom of Group 3.
Newmarket top Group 1, two points ahead of their opponents Castletownbere and Aghada, who face Piarsaighs for the second year running.
Last season their game needed extra-time to resolve matters and expect it to be just as tight once more.
The Duhallow club’s scoring resembles that of Cill na Martra, who’ve a point more on 4-25 to Newmarket’s 4-24. Conor O’Keeffee and Donal Hannon, on 1-10 and 1-8 respectively, are their main source of scores with Bart Daly marshalling the defence.
Castletownbere could throw the whole group wide open by inflicting a first defeat on their opponents, but Newmarket look to have too much in all sectors.
It’s a measure of Nemo Rangers strength-in-depth that their second string are the leading scorers, topping Group 3 with maximum points and 7-22 accumulated from just two games.
They engage Macroom, who sit on two points the same as Kanturk, who take on Gabriels and scoring difference could be a factor here.
Macroom must win because Kanturk will fancy their chances of picking up a second win and moving on to four points.
Apart from Nemo’s big win over Gabriels all the other games have been very close, indicative of a very competitive section.
PIFC Group 1: Newmarket v Castletownbere, Clondrohid; Na Piarsaigh v Aghada, Carrigtwohill.
Group 2: Naomh Abán v St Vincent’s, Cloughduv; Cill na Martra v Knocknagree, Mourneabbey.
Group 3: Macroom v Nemo Rangers, Newcestown; Kanturk v Gabriel Rangers, Ballingeary. All 4pm.