Premier Minor Football: We preview the Rebel Óg championship semi-finals

Premier Minor Football: We preview the Rebel Óg championship semi-finals

Alan O'Hare, Douglas, takes on Sean O'Flynn, Ballincollig. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

WILL it be back to the round robin stages in the final of the Premier 1 minor football championship?

Or will one of their opponents come through is the question as Douglas face Inniscarra and Glanmire take on Ibane Gaels in the semi-finals.

In the group stages Glanmire took on Douglas and in the other group Ibane Gaels and Inniscarra faced off.

So the possibility exists that, pending on results, those group stage games could be revisited in the final. And like any semi-final both are tough to call.

On paper Douglas will be slight favourites against Inniscarra and the same could be said of Glanmire.

But neither side can afford to take their opponents lightly and all four are more than capable of winning and to pick the two finalists is virtually impossible.

No matter what the result tonight both Ibane Gaels and Glanmire, in particular, must be complimented for moving to the top grade.

And both have shown by reaching the semi-finals that they were more than capable of succeeding at this level.

In some ways it is a pity they have been drawn against each other and only one has the opportunity to reach the final.

Of the two Glanmire will be slight favourites tonight, when you take a number of factors into consideration.

The work that the likes of Shane Martin and Gerry Sparrow have put in with this bunch for a number of years paid off last season when they won the Premier 2 title.

But they didn’t rest there and made the call to move up to the top grade this season and in doing so they got former Kerry star Tomás Ó Sé involved with the team.

When you take to the pitch for a training session and you see someone like that there it can only inspire you and so far it has worked.

This was always a good side and along with Martin and Sparrow he has turned them into one to be even more respected and difficult to beat.

One of the first things their management will have had to do was to try and pick them up from their Premier 1 MHC final loss with Sars to the Barrs last Wednesday.

A week is a long time, but also a short time and with in the region of 10 starters from that loss they will hope it will motivate them to get back to another final to try and win it.

In Ibane Gaels they will have a side that can go into this tie in confident form having come through the group stages undefeated and in players like James Moloney, Jack Lawton and Adam McSweeney have ones that can drive them on to victory.

In the other P1 semi-final home advantage will see Douglas start as slight favourites against Inniscarra, but they will be well aware of the class of the visitors.

Douglas started the group with a loss to Glanmire, improved against Nemo and only really hit form in their final group game against Ballincollig. They are the defending champions and unless they play like they did against the Village then they could see their reign end.

It will be a strange week for Jack Cahalane who lines out for Castlehaven against the Barrs tonight. Last week his two second-half goals were key scores to see the Barrs win the hurling championship for the first time since 1997 and tonight he will be playing his part in stopping their attempt to add a football title.

With the momentum gained from the hurling win the Barrs will be in confident form and will take some stopping and one of the key players they need to stop is the man who helped drive them on to hurling glory last Wednesday night.

Kanturk will be looking to bounce back from their P2 hurling loss to St Colman’s last Thursday night and with a number of players also playing at the weekend it won’t be easy for them.

They are up against a very good Carbery Rangers side and Kanturk will need to be at their best to have any chance of getting the better of them.

FIXTURES

TONIGHT

Premier 1 MFC semi-finals: Douglas v Inniscarra, Douglas, 6.15pm. Glanmire v Ibane Gaels, Clonakilty, 8pm.

Premier 2 MFC semi-finals: St Finbarr’s v Castlehaven, Clonakilty, 6.15pm. Carbery Rangers v Kanturk, Macroom, 7.30pm.

Premier 1 Challenge Cup semi-final: Gabriel Rangers v Nemo Rangers, Ballinascarthy, 6.30pm. Winners play Ballincollig in final.

Premier 2 Challenge Cup semi-final: Valley Rovers v Carrigaline, Brinny, 6.15pm. St Michael’s v Bandon, Mahon, 6.15pm.

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