IN the senior A Cork County hurling championship, the losers on the first weekend must win.
Some teams did very well in their first outing, and the ones who didn’t must do much better.
Senior A Cork County SHC: Bride Rovers v Fr O’Neill’s, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm
AN east Cork derby between two sides who made impressive opening statements, Rovers against Ballymartle, O’Neill’s against Kilworth.
This could be a cracker, with Bride Rovers the more experienced at this level. However, O’Neill’s are a team for the future and very well-balanced.
You never get anything easy from Bride Rovers. They’ll have veteran Brian Murphy in defence again, Eoghan and Brian Roche, William Finnegan, Dan Dooley, and Conleith Ryan leading the charge.
O’Neill’s have the tried-and-trusted Deccie Dalton, Billy Dunne, Kevin O’Sullivan, Mark O’Keeffe, and the Millericks, minus the injured Ger.
This will be a battle for bragging rights and impossible to call.
Maybe O’Neill’s, but just as easily the Rovers.
- Verdict: Fr O’Neill’s.
Senior A Cork County SHC: Kanturk v Newcestown, Coachford, 4pm
Both had good opening-day wins, against Cloyne and Killeagh, respectively, and both will be favourites to take the two qualifying spots in the group.
Kanturk had Lorcan McLoughlin in top form last weekend, while they have vast experience in brother John, Lorcan O’Neill, Aidan Walsh, Anthony Nash, in goal, and Darren and John Browne.
Newcestown are teak-tough and were too strong for Killeagh. Cian Healy, Luke Meade, Jack Meade, Cathrach Keane, and Dan Twomey are top players and won’t relent easily.
This will be a battle all the way, with the winner securing their qualifying place.
- Verdict: Newcestown.
Senior A SHC, Ballymartle v Kilworth, Grenagh, 4pm
A make-or-break tie for both, after first-day losses. Ballymartle are the more experienced, but lost heavily to Bride Rovers.
Darren McCarthy is back in the ranks and was very influential last weekend, while Michael Tobin, Seamus and Brian Corry, and Jamie Dwyer are key players, too.
Kilworth faded in their loss to Bride Rovers and could be under pressure here.
Kieran Walsh is still manning the sticks, while Maurice McNamara, Brian Tobin, Will Condon, and Noel McNamara are vastly experienced.
Ballymartle might have the greater know-how, in what should be a tight encounter.
- Verdict: Ballymartle.
Senior A SHC: Bandon v Fermoy, Páirc Uí Rinn, 5.30pm
Fermoy had a superb win over Mallow last weekend and that will give them huge confidence.
Brian O’Sullivan excelled, while David Lardner , Shane Aherne, and Martin Brennan were very good, too.
Bandon were well-beaten by Charleville in their opener and must improve.
They’ll look again to Ronan Crowley, Mark Sugrue, Cian O’Mahony, and Adam Murphy.
These two met in the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship final a few years back and Bandon triumphed.
This time, however, Fermoy look the better bet, on last weekend’s evidence.
- Verdict: Fermoy.
Senior A SHC: Charleville v Mallow, Kilbrin, Saturday, 5pm
A derby, with Charleville in top form against Bandon last weekend. They are favourites here and overall.
Darragh Fitzgibbon, Jack Doyle, Mark Kavanagh, and Danny Flynn excelled last time and Mallow must be a lot better than they were against Fermoy.
Aaron Sheehan, Sean Hayes, Pa Herlihy, and Cormac Murphy must lead from the front for Mallow and the expectation is that they will give this a right go.
But the verdict from this quarter goes to Charleville.
- Verdict: Charleville.
Senior A, Killeagh v Cloyne: Midleton, 2pm
On the evidence presented in round one, both have a lot of improving to do. Kanturk easily accounted for Cloyne, while Killeagh faded against Newcestown.
Eoin Motherway, Brian Fleming, Keith Dennehy, Dylan Cahill, and, of course, Paudie O’Sullivan, must lead by example for Cloyne.
Eoghan Keniry, Christy Coughlan, Cian Fogarty, Kieran Lane, Kevin Murphy, and Sean Long must do a similar job for Killeagh and they might come out on the right side.
- Verdict: Killeagh.