EVEN THOUGH there are no fixtures this coming week in East Cork it might be just as well as the division needs to take a breath after what was a fantastic two weeks of competition.
The East Cork JAHC always throws up some great performances and last weekend, in particular, was no exception with Lisgoold showing their credentials with a flawless display against Sarsfields and Carraig na bhFear were immaculate in their game against Fr O’Neill’s.
The Covid-19 lockdown may have disrupted the championship but it certainly didn’t affect the standard on show. Players like John Cashman from Lisgoold and the brilliant Tim Geaney from Carraig na bhFear highlight why the hurlers of East Cork are on a par with the best in the county.
St Ita’s were also in action at the weekend and won a great game against Erin’s Own to set up a real derby decider between themselves and Killeagh. That will be a do or die affair adding to the incredible competitiveness of the game in the division.
So with Lisgoold already in the semi-final there are some key games coming up over the coming weeks as Carraig na bhFear face Watergrasshill to book their place in the last four and then one hell of a showdown between St Ita’s and Killeagh.
With the new system in place it will be the three group winners who automatically qualify for the semi-finals and then the best runner-up will join them.
I wish the East Cork Board the very best with that one and the calculator will get a lot of pressing before the final outcome!
Carraig na bhFear are the team to beat so far and following last year’s final replay defeat to Russell Rovers, they are back and even better than in 2019. They look more balanced and have players all over the pitch that can score.
That is the key at the business end of any championship.
I would not be surprised if they went a long way in the East Cork JAFC either because they are a group adept in both codes.
Lisgoold will want to prove me wrong and have the personnel in place to defeat any side if they click. They certainly are a much improved outfit as well.
St Ita’s and Killeagh are very good sides and to be honest Killeagh were extremely unlucky to lose to Erin’s Own in their first match with a stunning Daniel Landers display and when you have a player the quality of Seamie Harnedy in your ranks you can never write off the men from Gortroe.
Exciting stuff, bring it on!