THERE are plenty of issues to be sorted out in the Cork County Senior A hurling championship and it all makes for a very interesting set of games in all three groups.
Fr O’Neill’s, Kanturk, and Charleville go into the final group games in a very healthy position, all with a 100% record and they can breathe fairly easily as far as extending their season is concerned.
However, nothing can be taken for granted and in all games there’s an issue at stake.
Newcestown v Cloyne, Páirc Uí Rinn, 4pm:
Cloyne had a splendid win over Killeagh in their last outing and that will give them plenty of confidence.
Newcestown lost to Kanturk but defeated Cloyne in their opener and this sets this one up very nicely.
Mikey Cahill, Ashley McCarthy, Paudie O’Sullivan, Eoin Motherway, Brian Fleming and Eanna Motherway should be to the forefront while Newcestown have the experience of Jack and Luke Meade, Dan Twomey, Cathrach Keane, Cian Healy and Fionn Keane to call on.
Newcestown are a battle-hardened side and never relinquish easily and might be better balanced here.
- Verdict: Newcestown.
Killeagh v Kanturk, Kilavullen, 4pm:
Killeagh must win this game to avoid the relegation issue and on the evidence to date they have a big job on their hands.
Kanturk are riding high and going for top spot in the group which should be their’s one way or the other.
Anthony Nash provides the usual stability in goal while John McLoughlin, John Browne, Lorcan McLoughlin, Aidan Walsh, Lorcan O’Neill are experienced campaigners.
Andy Leahy, Christy Coughlan, Cian Fogarty, Eoghan Keniry and Kevin Murphy are fine Killeagh hurlers but this task might be another bridge too far.
Hard to oppose unbeaten Kanturk.
- Verdict: Kanturk.
Bandon v Mallow, Coachford, 4pm:
It has not been a good campaign thus far for Mallow and they won’t be extending their season unless they are immersed in a relegation issue.
They put up a decent effort against Charleville the last day, losing by three points and have good hurlers in Cormac Murphy, Paul Lyons, John Healy, Denis Hayes and Fionn O’Neill.
Bandon had a terrific win over Fermoy, winning a tight game by a point and in Ronan Crowley, Darren Crowley, Mark Sugrue, Donagh Lucey, Cha Dullea and Mikey Cahalane, they have some serious hurlers.
There’s a lot at stake here for both sides and Bandon must be slightly fancied.
- Verdict: Bandon.
Charleville v Fermoy, Kildorrery, 4pm:
This should be a north Cork epic, unbeaten Charleville taking on a Fermoy side who must get full points here to prolong their season.
Charleville are a serious outfit and one of the favourites for the ultimate prize and will look again to the classy Darragh Fitzgibbon, Andrew Cagney, Mark Kavanagh, Jack Doyle, Danny Flynn and Jack O’Callaghan.
Denis Ring knows the importance of this game for Fermoy and he’ll have them primed.
Padraigh De Roiste, Tom Clancy, Adam Creed, David Lardner, Eoin Clancy and Martin Brennan will be key to their cause.
This could be the game of the day and a very cautious vote goes to Charleville.
- Verdict: Charleville.
Fr O’Neill’s v Ballymartle, Cobh, 4pm:
The east Cork team have adapted very well to the elevated grade and confidence must be high.
They had a fine workout in a challenge last week with Erin’s Own and once more the reliance will be on Deccie Dalton, Kevin O’Sullivan, Mark O’Keeffe, Billy Dunne, Podge Butler and Tom Millerick.
Ger Millerick’s injury absence is a blow but they are getting on with it.
Ballymartle are more experienced at this level and a win here is a must. Darren McCarthy, Brian Corry, Graham Webb and Seamus Corry are key players for them.
O’Neill’s will earn anything that they get here but success is breeding success for them and they get the nod again in what should be a right battle for supremacy.
Kilworth v Bride Rovers, Glantane, 4pm:
Kilworth go into this game pointless and badly need a victory to avoid getting themselves into the relegation issue.
A late Ballymartle goal denied them the last day and they have a lot of experience in their team.
Noel McNamara, Liam Whelan, Austin O’Hara, Will Condon, James Sheehan and goalkeeper Kieran Walsh have a lot of hurling done and they’ll burst a gut to get a result here.
The Rovers were very disappointing against O’Neill’s, scoring just six points from play.
William Finnegan got 10 points from placed balls in that game and in Daniel Dooley, Eoin and Brian Roche and that great servant, Brian Murphy, they have the material to get the job done.
- Verdict: Bride Rovers.