THE city’s northside clubs came up against strong, traditional football sides in the opening rounds of the county championships and found them too much of a handful.
It was an early indication of just how competitive all four grades, from premier senior down to intermediate ‘A’, are going to be, particularly for those with more hurling backgrounds.
St Nick’s suffered at the hands of a powerful O’Donovan Rossa side, who are on a mission to return to the top flight after missing out, when losing to Clonakilty in an epic contest last season.
They paid a heavy price for the one-point defeat after extra-time and are clearly determined to make an immediate return to join the likes of Castlehaven and Carbery Rangers.
Between them Kevin Davis, Donal Óg Hodnett and Elliott Connolly scored 3-13 to underline the potential in the Skibbereen attack.
It’s unlikely to get any easier for St Nick’s, whose next game in senior ‘A’ Group 1 is against St Michael’s in Mayfield on Sunday, August 16 at 2pm.
The Mahon club also signalled their intentions with a 3-16 to 0-14 win over Ballingeary.
Both Na Piarsaigh and St Vincent’s also lost in premier intermediate to a couple of Duhallow clubs, Newmarket and Knocknagree respectively.
Piarsaighs started well enough with an early Alan Keating goal but couldn’t withstand incessant pressure from Newmarket, who ran out 2-14 to 1-6 winners.
Shane Forde, Aaron Higgins and Alan Hogan also found the range for Piarsaighs, who face Castletownbere in Group 1 in Inchigeela on the 16th at 3pm.
The fishing port club also lost their opening round tie to Aghada.
Despite falling to a six-point defeat, St Vincent’s can take a lot of positives from their game with Knocknagree, last season’s intermediate champions with designs on stepping up another level this season.
An early Anthony O’Callaghan goal, supplemented by three Blake Murphy points, kept Vincent’s in touch for much of the game until Knocknagree pounced for a clinching goal 10 minutes from the end.
The city club, though, lost no face in defeat because this is a star-studded Knocknagree outfit, who supplied half-a-dozen players to the Duhallow side, which reached last season’s county final.
Cill na Martra await in Group 2 in Coachford at 2pm on the 15th, the Gaeltacht club overcoming Naomh Aban in their first outing.
Mayfield showed commendable battling qualities to get within three points of Adrigole, who won by 2-11 to 2-8 in intermediate ‘A’ Group 3.
They trailed by nine points with only five minutes remaining, but a Stephen Hackett penalty and a second goal from Robbie Lynch ensured a nervous finish for the Beara club.
Mayfield take on Glanworth in their next game in Blarney on the 16th at pm. Glanworth also lost on day one, Mitchelstown showing up well in the process.
FRIDAY, Aug 14
PIFC Group 3: Macroom v Gabriel Rangers, Dunmanway, 7.30.
SATURDAY, Aug 15:
SAFC Group 1: O’Donovan Rossa v Ballingeary, Ballinacarriga, 3pm.
Group 2: Kiskeam v Bantry Blues, Clondrohid, 3pm.
PSFC Group 2: Carbery Rangers v Ilen Rovers, Leap, 5pm.
PIFC Group 2: Cill na Martra v St Vincent’s, Coachford, 5pm; Naomh Aban v Knocknagree, Millstreet, 5pm.
IAFC: Group 1: Millstreet v Ballinora, Macroom, 7pm.
Group 2: Dromtarriffe v Ballydesmond, Boherbue, 7pm; Rockchapel v Kinsale, Donoughmore, 7pm.
Group 3: Mitchelstown v Adrigole, Carrigadrohid, 7pm.
SAFC Group 2: Mallow v Éire Óg, Mourneabbey, 7.30 PSFC Group 3: Nemo Rangers v Bishopstown, Pairc Ui Rinn, 7.30.
SUNDAY, Aug 16
PSFC Group 1: St Finbarr’s v Carrigaline, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 2pm; Ballincollig v Clonakilty, Enniskeane, 2pm.
Group 2: Castlehaven v Newcestown, Enniskeane, 2pm S ‘A’ FC Group 1: St Nick’s v St Michael’s, Mayfield, 2pm.
Group 3: Fermoy v Clyda Rovers, Killavullen, 2pm.
IAFC Group 4: Aghabullogue v Kilshannig, Glenville, 2pm.
PIFC Group 1: Newmarket v Aghada, Grenagh, 3pm; Na Piarsaigh v Castletownbere, Inchigeela, 3pm.
IAFC Group 4: Kildorrery v Glanmire, Rathcormac, 3pm.
PSFC Group 3: Valley Rovers v Douglas, Ovens, 4pm.
SAFC Group 3: Dohenys v Bandon, Ahiohill, 4pm.
PIFC Group 3: Kanturk v Nemo Rangers, Glantane, 7pm.
IAFC Group 1: St Finbarr’s v Glenville, Carrignavar, 7pm.
Group 3: Glanworth v Mayfield, Blarney, 7pm.