Barrs fancied to progress to last four as Newcestown balance dual demands

Barrs fancied to progress to last four as Newcestown balance dual demands

The Barrs’ Colm Barrett will be back from injury to face Newcestown. Picture: Jim Coughlan

TONIGHT: Bon Secours Premier SFC quarter-final: St Finbarr’s v Newcestown, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7.30pm.

THE pendulum has definitely swung the city club’s way after Covid-19 forced the postponement of the original fixture 10 days ago.

The delay certainly helped Paul O’Keeffe, the St Finbarr’s manager, who had selection issues after missing a number of prominent players in the most recent game against Clonakilty.

They won by 1-17 to 1-13 despite not having a number of dual players like Glenn O’Connor and Cian Walsh and Colm Barrett, who was injured, but O’Keeffe is set to have a full deck from which to choose on this occasion.

There’s a very strong look to the 2018 champions’ forward sector in particular and while Stephen Sherlock is in razor-sharp form, the Barrs are no longer overly reliant on his scoring prowess.

That said, anyone who can post 2-22 in three games has to be reckoned with, but youngsters Cillian Myers-Murray and Brian Hayes have added big time to the attack.

Captain Ian Maguire leads by example from midfield and behind him, Sam Ryan, Colin Lyons and Olan Murphy bring a fine balance to the defence.

The Barrs will be fresh and eager and the wide-open expanses of headquarters should be tailor-made for their quick delivery style.

If there was a club-of-the-year award handed over now Newcestown would be worthy recipients.

Not only are they continuing last season’s exciting form, but the majority of players also line out with the hurlers, who were in the senior A semi-finals last weekend. Some achievement!

They emerged from the west Cork ‘group of death’ by defeating Ilen Rovers by 3-17 to 1-7 and Carbery Rangers, the 2016 champions, by 2-12 to 2-9.

Newcestown lost no face in the 1-12 to 0-9 defeat to Castlehaven, who await the winners in the semi-final. Could there be a repeat?

About a dozen players regularly start in both teams and Newcestown are obviously enjoying what’s served up almost on a weekly basis at this stage.

The Twomeys, O’Donovans, Keanes and Meades fear no opponent, but you’d have to wonder if their hurling exertions from the weekend are going to catch up with them.

That’s where the benefits of a strong bench come into force because you suspect if the west Cork club are going to repeat their 2019 semi-final showing then it’s going to have to be all hands to the pump.

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