Four Cork clubs are still in the hunt for a double this season

Four Cork clubs are still in the hunt for a double this season

Daniel Dineen, Aghabullogue, fires over a point against Mayfield. Picture: Larry Cummins

ONLY four clubs can entertain notions of completing county hurling and football doubles as the season approaches the business end.

Many others have fallen by the wayside at different stages of this unique year.

What are the chances, though, of one of the quartet pulling off this amazing feat?

Indeed, what are the prospects of them appearing in county finals in the first instance, never mind walking the steps to accept the cup?

We’ll start alphabetically with Aghabullogue, who are all systems go on two fronts, qualifying for the last four in both intermediate A grades.

They continue their quest for hurling honours with a game against Kildorrery in Glantane on Sunday.

Both clubs completed 100% records in qualifying though the north Cork club skipped the quarter-finals because of a superior scoring difference.

That didn’t deter Aghabullogue against Mayfield however, winning a tight game by two points to progress.

The following week it’s football and a joust with the favourites Mitchelstown, a big ask given the way the Avondhu club have been compiling scores.

That’s parked for the moment, though, as it’s all eyes on hurling, just an hour away from contesting a county final, just like Aghabullogue did in 2018 in football.

A second Muskerry club, Éire Óg, also have designs on the same hurling title as they prepare to take on Sarsfields’ second string in the other semi-final in Blarney, also on Sunday.

Only recently, Sars harboured ambitions of a hurling double until their neighbours, Erin’s Own, went and spoiled their party in the senior quarter-final.

This is a repeat of their Group 2 encounter which the Ovens club won by 0-20 to 2-9 in the opening game.

It was the first of three successful outings in the section as Éire Óg topped the group and went straight through to the semi-final, by-passing a hazardous quarter-final en route.

Regardless of the result, it’s back to football a week later for the mouth-watering senior A semi-final with the favourites O’Donovan Rossa in Clonakilty.

Éire Óg have recent experience of county final joy. Last season they pipped St Michael’s in the premier decider, having won the intermediate in 2014.

There’s nothing like winning to boost confidence and help morale and the footballers’ win over Michael’s last weekend must surely feel like a major tonic.

Kanturk are in the unique position of knowing first of all what it takes to get county finals in the same season and then, more importantly, having the nous to win them.

Ian Walsh, Kanturk, shields the ball from Aghada full-back Ed Leahy. Picture: Larry Cummins
Ian Walsh, Kanturk, shields the ball from Aghada full-back Ed Leahy. Picture: Larry Cummins

Three years, the Duhallow club annexed the premier intermediate hurling and intermediate football titles in exciting fashion.

Now, they’re on the prowl once again in the higher grades of senior A hurling and premier intermediate football.

However, They face formidable opponents in the favourites in both, Charleville in hurling and Cill na Martra in football.

Yet, you suspect they’ll relish the challenges and they’ve the armoury to shoot down fancied teams.

Newcestown make up the quartet as they fly on senior A hurling and premier senior fronts, starting with a semi-final against Fr O’Neill’s on Sunday. Then, three nights later it’s St Finbarr’s in the premier senior football quarter-final.

Both squads are basically the same and it’s a huge task for the west Cork club.

The one common thread running through all four clubs is the vast majority of players play both and that is highly commendable.

FIXTURES:

SATURDAY: 

SAHC semi-final: Charleville v Kanturk, Mallow, 2pm.

LIHC semi-final: St Catherine’s v Russell Rovers, Killeagh, 3pm.

PIFC semi-final: Newmarket v Knocknagree, Kiskeam, 4pm.

PSHC semi-finals: Blackrock v UCC, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 4pm; Glen Rovers v Erin’s Own, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 7.30.

SUNDAY: 

SAHC semi-final: Fr O’Neill’s v Newcestown, Pairc Ui Rinn, 1pm.

SAHC relegation play-off: Kilworth v Killeagh, Ballynoe, 2pm.

IAHC semi-finals: Eire Og v Sarsfields, Blarney, 2pm; Kildorrery v Aghabullogue, Glantane, 4pm.

SAFC semi-final: Fermoy v Mallow, Glanworth, 3pm.

LIHC semi-final: Castlemartyr v Kilbrittain, Pairc Ui Rinn, 4pm.

PSFC quarter-final: Nemo Rangers v Ballincollig, Pairc Ui Rinn, 7.30.

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