Cork Premier Intermediate Hurling grade never fails to deliver top action

Cork Premier Intermediate Hurling grade never fails to deliver top action
Stephen Olden, Eddie O'Connor and Liam Buckley, Inniscarra, close in on Shane Barrett, Blarney in the PIHC clash. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE Cork County PIHC, similar to the other grades, enters a critical stage tonight with the six group games being played out.

All the 12 teams have something to play for, whether it’s a semi-final place for one team, a quarter-final for others and for those less fortunate, a game to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.

Courcey Rovers v Aghada, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30pm:

The Ballinspittle team are in a very precarious position here, having lost their first two games.

Aghada, on the other hand, have won one and lost one and are still in the thick of the battle.

They’ll look again to the experience of Will Leahy, Michael Russell, John Russell, Cian Fleming and Arron Stafford.

Ronan Nyhan, Stephen Nyhan and Richie Sweetnam are key players for Courcey Rovers.

Like all the rest of the games tonight in this grade, this one is nicely balanced.

Maybe Aghada.

Carrigaline v Youghal, Carrigtwohill, 7.30pm:

Carrigaline are the form team, two from two and will be fancied here.

They have Brian Kelleher in good form with plenty of scores while David Drake, Wes O’Brien, Rob O’Shea and David Griffin add an experienced dimension.

Youghal will have Ritchie Cunningham, Bill Cooper, Alan Frahill-O’Connor and Nigel Roche leading the charge after their win over Courcey Rovers.

Hard to oppose Carrigaline.

  • Verdict: Carrigaline.

Ballincollig v Ballinhassig, Cloughduv, 7.30pm:

Ballinhassig lost the last day to Watergrasshill but cannot be written off by any means.

Ger Collins, Patrick Collins, Fintan O’Leary and Cillian Reynolds are going to be important for them.

Ballincollig defeated Valley Rovers in their last outing to reignite their hopes and they have good hurlers in Cian Dorgan, Sean Walsh, Robbie Bourke and Liam Jennings pulling the strings among others.

Fasten the seat belts for a real battle here and Ballincollig might shade it but that’s said without any great conviction.

  • Verdict: Ballincollig.

Valley Rovers v Watergrasshill, Ovens, 7.30pm:

The Innishannon side are struggling to avoid being relegated after two losses and this won’t be easy either.

The ’Hill have good hurlers in Paddy O’Regan, Shane O’Regan, Shane Og Regan, Kevin O’Neill and Sean Desmond.

They were too strong for Ballinhassig and will be favourites here.

Valleys will hope that Chris O’Leary, John Cottrell, Noel O’Donovan and Eoin O’Reilly are in form.

  • Verdict: The ’Hill.

Blackrock V Blarney, Riverstown, 7.30pm:

Blarney were very impressive in their opener against Inniscarra and will be fancied here despite losing to Castlelyons in game two.

Shane Barrett, Mark Coleman, Padraigh Power, Joe Jordan and Paul O’Leary are big players on their starting 15.

The Rockies lost to Inniscarra in their previous outing and will hope that Eoin O’Farrell, Colin O’Leary and Liam O’Sullivan are at their best.

Blarney look a better bet and should prevail.

  • Verdict: Blarney

Castlelyons v Inniscarra, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7.30pm:

Castlelyons are in top notch form going in here with two victories and should make it three on this occasion.

Colm Barry, brother Jack, the three Spillanes, Niall O’Leary and Eoin Maye are the big players on duty for them.

Inniscarra had a good win over Blackrock the last day and are still in the chase to qualify. Sean O’Donoghue, Owen McCarthy, Fergal O’Leary and Colm Casey are their main players.

A good game is in prospect with Castlelyons emerging again.

  • Verdict: Castlelyons.

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