THERE are a couple of stand-out fixtures in the Bon Secours county premier intermediate football championship at the weekend.
The Aghada-Newmarket and the Nemo Rangers-Kanturk ties in Groups 1 and 3 respectively bring together teams who won their opening round games.
Aghada supplied nine scorers in their emotional 0-13 to 0-7 victory over Castletownbere, coming at the end of a traumatic week, when they said farewell to Kieran O’Connor.
Pearse O’Neill remains an important leader while Cork U20 Diarmaid Phelan represents the long-term future.
The East Cork club face a much tougher assignment in Grenagh on Sunday, when Newmarket will be cock-a-hoop after their 2-14 to 1-6 win over Na Piarsaigh.
The Duhallow club have a liberal sprinkling of experience in the shape of Bart Daly and TJ Brosnan and youth in keeper Josh O’Keeffe.
Conor O’Keeffe and Donal Hannon are other important members of a Newmarket side with a lot of scoring power.
Another Duhallow club, Kanturk, meet Nemo Rangers’ second string in Glantane on Sunday at 7pm.
Kanturk squeezed past Macroom by a point in their first game, when Aidan Walsh, Cork U20 Daniel O’Connell and Ryan Walsh didn’t play.
They were still able to field a very strong and seasoned side containing the McLoughlins, John and Lorcan, Paul and Ian Walsh along with Darren Browne at full-back.
Nemo compiled an impressive 3-14 against Gabriel Rangers’ 1-11 on their maiden outing, when wing-back Luke Horgan bombed forward to plant two goals.
Ciaran Dalton chipped in with the other while brother Ronan contributed 0-4. Colm Kiely’s accuracy was another key weapon as he scored 0-5.
There could be an early resolution to the two qualifiers from Group 2 if Knocknagree and Cill na Martra add to their first round wins.
Knocknagree overcame a battling St Vincent’s by 1-13 to 1-7 and now face Naomh Aban in Banteer tomorrow at 5pm.
The Duhallow club have a fine blend in a side that has scoring threats in Eoghan McSweeney, John Fintan Daly and Denis O’Connor while Daniel O’Mahony was full-back with Cork U20s this year.
Cill na Martra had Micheal Ó Deasuna to thank for their 0-11 to 1-6 win over Naomh Abán because he scored 0-7, six from frees.
It’s must-win for Vincent’s, who will look to Paddy O’Shea, the Murphys, Blake and John Paul, and Anthony O’Callaghan for inspiration. The Ballyvourney club have Aodhan Ó Luasa, a Cork U20.
The other first round losers are in the same predicament with Na Piarsiagh’s many dual players out for the fourth successive weekend though the hurlers’ victory last week should be a considerable boost.
Macroom will look to Fintan Goold and Castletownbere to Gary Murphy.
TONIGHT: Group 3: Macroom v Gabriel Rangers, Dunmanway, 7.30pm.
TOMORROW: Group 2: Cill na Martra v St Vincent’s, Coachford, 5pm; Naomh Abán v Knocknagree, Banteer, 5pm.
SUNDAY: Group 1: Newmarket v Aghada, Grenagh, 3pm; Na Piarsaigh v Castletownbere, Inchigeela, 3pm.
PIFC Group 3: Kanturk v Nemo Rangers, Glantane, 7pm.