THE first thing to be said in relation to the Senior A Cork County hurling championship is that the host of local derby games carry huge potential.
In North Cork, you have three clubs in the one group, Mallow, Charleville and Fermoy.
In East Cork, you have a big local derby featuring Bride Rovers and senior status newcomers Fr O’Neill’s It all makes for some very interesting times.
Senior A: Fr O’Neill’s v Kilworth.
This is a repeat of last season’s Premier Intermediate final that was won comprehensively by O’Neill’s.
They’ll start favourites here again but won’t be dwelling on what happened last season.
They’ll be looking again to big players like Deccie Dalton, Ger Millerick, Joe Millerick, Mark O’Keeffe, Kevin O’Sullivan and Billy Dunne.
Kilworth will feel that they can do a lot better this time and in Kieran Lane, Noel McNamara, Liam Whelan, Eoin McGrath and Dave Twomey, they have very good hurlers.
This is a whole new ball game for both but O’Neill’s should prevail.
Senior A: Mallow v Fermoy:
A North Cork derby that would bring in a huge crowd in a perfect world.
Both are up from Premier Intermediate, both losing in the quarter-final of that grade last season, Fermoy to O’Neill’s, Mallow to Inniscarra.
Both must be better in the elevated grade and the opening group points are of great significance.
Mallow will look again to Cormac Murphy, Paul Lyons, Pa Herlihy, Sean Hayes and Aaron Sheehan.
Fermoy will look to the experience of Darragh O’Carroll, Brian O’Sullivan, Tomas Clancy, Jack Hutchins and Mark Flynn.
This is extremely difficult to call with no know form guide to rely on. Maybe Mallow.
Senior A: Bandon v Charleville:
This is the second game in the group that features the above two and is equally difficult to call.
Charleville took the Glen to extra-time last season in their first season up and will be going in here as favourites.
Alan Dennehy, Jack Barry, Jack Buckley, Mark Kavanagh, Danny Flynn and Andrew Cagney have gained a lot of experience in the past few years.
Bandon beat Newcestown last season but lost to Carrigtwohill in round three. They have the experience of Darren and Ronan Crowley, Mark Sugrue and Donagh Lucey to call on.
This could be a battle to the wire with Charleville getting the slightest of nods.