Cork intermediate hurling: Denis Hurley previews the weekend action

Cork intermediate hurling: Denis Hurley previews the weekend action
Carrigaline's Steve Williamson getting put under pressure by Courcey Rovers' David Duggan and Martin Collins in their opening round PIHC win. Picture: Denis Boyle

HAVING looked at the permutations ahead of the final rounds of fixtures in the premier senior and senior A hurling championships last Saturday, we will examine the three intermediate grades today.

PREMIER INTERMEDIATE
GROUP A: Carrigaline are in the box seat, having beat Courcey Rovers and Aghada. They will face Youghal, who lost to Aghada and overcame Courceys, and a third Carrig win would put Aghada as strong favourites to take second place. If Youghal were to win, there could be a three-way tie for top spot though, with one side missing out on scoring difference. Conversely, wins for Carrig and Courceys would mean Carrig on top with three level in second.

GROUP B: Watergrasshill have secured top spot after beating Ballincollig and Ballinhassig, but they will target a third win, against Valley Rovers, as they seek one of the two automatic semi-final spots. Valleys still have something to play for though as two of the three fourth-placed sides will meet in the relegation play-off and they will want to avoid that. Ballincollig and Ballinhassig, both beaten by the Hill and victors against Valleys, meet with a quarter-final place up for grabs.

GROUP C: Castlelyons have beaten Blackrock and Blarney and the avoidance of defeat against Inniscarra will ensure that they finish in top spot. They currently have the best scoring-difference of the three group-leaders and so a third win would almost certainly propel them into the last four.

Inniscarra’s win over Blackrock means that they are still in the mix though and a win for them would make things very interesting, with the possibility of a three-way tie at the top if Blarney beat Blackrock. The Rockies aren’t fully out of things either, but they would need a Castlelyons win to give them of advancing.

INTERMEDIATE A

GROUP A: Kildorrery have beaten Mayfield and Argideen Rangers and will target a victory over Dungourney to secure first place – currently, they have the worst scoring-difference of the three group leaders and so could be the unlucky ones to have to play in the quarter-finals with the three runners-up.

Going on form, Mayfield are favourites for second, having beaten Dungourney, while Argideen have yet to pick up a point. If Dungourney and Mayfield won, they would be level with Kildorrery and scoring difference would come into play for first, second and third – similarly, victories for Kildorrery and Argideen would mean a tie for second, third and fourth. GROUP B: Éire Óg are guaranteed top spot and with a scoring difference of 27 they will be in the semi-finals if they secure a third victory against Meelin, who lost to the two sides the Ovens club beat, Sarsfields and Douglas.

Éire Óg's Colm O'Callaghan breaks from Douglas' Fiachra Ó Luanaigh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Éire Óg's Colm O'Callaghan breaks from Douglas' Fiachra Ó Luanaigh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The two second teams will face off in what is effectively a knockout game, with Sars having the edge in terms of scoring difference, meaning they would advance with a draw.
GROUP C: Aghabullogue have beaten Cloughduv and Glen Rovers and they face Midleton, who overcame the Glen before losing to Cloughduv. On form, the two Muskerry sides would be expected to finish in the top two spots. A win or a draw for Aghabullogue will guarantee top spot; a loss to the Magpies would leave both on four points, with Cloughduv in line to finish on four two if they beat the Glen.

If the Glen were to win, they would be level on two points with Cloughduv, and Midleton if Aghabullogue get a third win.

LOWER INTERMEDIATE
GROUP A: A group with abundant possibilities – any two of the four teams could still qualify. Three of the four games have been drawn, meaning Ballygarvan, who beat Barryroe last time, are top with three points while Kilbrittain and Russell Rovers have two each and Barryroe have one.

The winners of the Ballygarvan-Kilbrittain game will advance while Russell Rovers are guaranteed progression if they overcome Barryroe. A win for Barryroe may be enough for them, but not if Kilbrittain win – they would lose out to Ballygarvan on head-to-head record in that case.
GROUP B: Wins over St Finbarr’s and Milford mean Castlemartyr are confirmed as group winners, aiming for a third victory against the eliminated Ballymartle to try to qualify for the semi-finals. The Barrs and Milford face off in an effective quarter-final play-off.
GROUP C: St Catherine’s are on top, having beaten Grenagh and Tracton. Dripsey’s draw with Grenagh first time out means that they have something to play for if they were to beat Catherine’s.

Tracton’s win over Dripsey sends them into the Grenagh game a point ahead but a win for Grenagh would give them a good chance of advancing.

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