Four Cork GAA games to watch and full fixtures for the opening rounds

Four Cork GAA games to watch and full fixtures for the opening rounds
Midleton's Conor Lehane is tackled by Sarsfields goalkeeper Alan Kennedy as he scores his second goal in the 2013 county final. Picture: E.ddie O'Hare

GAMES TO WATCH IN THE OPENING ROUNDS:

1. St Finbarr's v Ballincollig, Páirc Uí Rinn, Friday, July 24 at Páirc Uí Rinn: 

In the modern era, the Barrs and the Collig have built a rivalry through regular senior football championships clashes. Ballincollig beat their city neighbours in the first round in 2014 and '15, a period when they lifted the Andy Scannell Cup for the first time, while the Blues have had the upper hand lately, including 2017 when they were victorious en route to the county final.

There are similarities between the teams. Midfielders Séan Kiely and Barrs talisman Ian Maguire were sidekicks for Cork underage; Cian Dorgan and Steven Sherlock remain two of the best forwards in the club game who aren't involved at senior inter-county; both have a production line of players from competitive underage sections.

Clon and Carrigaline are also in this group.

2. Castlehaven v Carbery Rangers, Sunday, July 26 in Clonakilty (live on TG4):

West Cork is steeped in football, but the Haven and Ross have been the dominant forces in recent years.

Castlehaven were county champions in 2012 and '13 and reached two further county finals; Rangers made the breakthrough in the 2016 and are perennial semi-finalists. 

No doubt that's why TG4 selected this as one of the live games on their schedule.

Castlehaven captain Mark Collins and Carbery Rangers' James Fitzpatrick up for the ball in their senior football championship clash. Picture: Anne Marie Cronin Photography
Castlehaven captain Mark Collins and Carbery Rangers' James Fitzpatrick up for the ball in their senior football championship clash. Picture: Anne Marie Cronin Photography

This will be a bruising encounter but the firepower on show will be considerable, from Brian Hurley and John Hayes to Mark Collins and John O'Rourke. A slight advantage for Ross is that they don't have players with dual commitments, whereas the Cahalane crew play hurling for the Barrs and the Collins with Douglas.

Jack Cahalane, a dual minor last summer, is now eligible to line out at senior for his clubs. 

Ilen and Newcestown are in this group as well.

3. Midleton v Sarsfields, Friday, July 31 at Páirc Uí Rinn:

These hurling strongholds were county champions in the past decade and met in the U21 decider last season, Sars stealing the victory at the death.

The Magpies have Ben O'Connor at the helm, fresh from his impressive run with Charleville. They've been extremely strong at minor lately so expect a young, vibrant look to the team, tapping into the pace of Conor Lehane and Tommy O'Connell.

Sars were extremely competitive without getting too many breaks lately, as Imokilly hoovered up three consecutive counties, and have no shortage of tasty hurlers from young guns like Liam Healy, Daniel Hogan and Jack O'Connor, to veterans Daniel and William Kearney and the O'Sullivans.

Douglas will be strong contenders to emerge from Group A as well, with Ballhea expected to struggle.

4. Glen Rovers v St Finbarr's, Saturday, August 1 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh:

The only game currently fixed at the revamped Páirc is a classic showdown between the Glen and the Barrs.

In a classic recent championship joust, in 2017, the Glen snatched a win late on through Paddy Cunningham's goal: 1-21 to 4-11. 

The Blues made last year's semi-final, while the northsiders were beaten in the county final by Imokilly. With Patrick Horgan on board, the 2014-'15 champions will be favourites.

Look out for the Barrs' Ethan Twomey and Jack Cahalane and the Glen's Luke Horgan in this, all three were prominent Cork minors in 2019 and now available for their clubs.

Na Piarsaigh in the mix here too, while Carrigtwohill will need to pull off a few shocks to get through Group C.

Ethan Twomey, St Finbarr's, is tackled by Glen Rovers' Lee Quilligan. Picture: Dan Linehan
Ethan Twomey, St Finbarr's, is tackled by Glen Rovers' Lee Quilligan. Picture: Dan Linehan

The Cork championships commence on July 24, with five matches on the Friday night.

Among the attractive pairings on the opening weekend, which is dedicated to football are Éire Óg against Bantry, Naomh Abán meeting Muskerry rivals Cill na Martra and a Duhallow derby between Rockchapel and Dromtarriffe.

Hurling then takes centre stage on the August Bank Holiday weekend, when Midleton meet Sars and Fr O'Neill's collide with Kilworth on July 31.

 How many fans are allowed in to matches has yet to be sorted. There is a limit of 500, including teams and officials, at each ground for games under current government restrictions.

RTÉ and TG4 could pick up games for their live broadcasts, with the latter opting for the Haven versus Rosscarbery already, while the County Board will stream some as well. Full details of any packages have yet to be revealed but the likelihood is there will be a charge of €5 per game.

In the new format, only the top-two clubs from each of the three groups will progress from the round robin stage. 

At the premier level, the club with the best record moves into the semi-final. The other two groups winners and the three runners-up are pitched into the quarter-finals along with whoever emerges from the divisional/colleges section.

The Imokilly hurlers, Carbery footballers, UCC hurlers and footballers and Duhallow hurlers and footballers are the only teams entered thus far.

There are three weekends of action before a gap-week for clubs, when the divisions will play-off and another three rounds before the knockout ties. 

The full fixture list is below:

DateCompRoundFixture
Fri, July 24th @7.30pmPSFCA1St. Finbarr’s v Ballincollig in Páirc Uí Rinn
Fri, July 24th @7.30pmPSFCC1Nemo Rangers v Valley Rovers in Cloughduv
Fri, July 24th @7.30pmSAFCC1Clyda Rovers v Bandon in Ballyanly
Fri, July 24th @7.30pmIAFCD1Glanmire v Kilshannig in Blarney
Fri, July 24th @7.30pmIAFCD1Aghabullogue v Kildorrery in Mallow
Sat, July 25th @3pmSAFCB1Eire Óg v Bantry Blues in Ballingeary
Sat, July 25th @3pmSAFCB1Kiskeam v Mallow in Kanturk
Sat, July 25th @3.30pmPSFCA1Clonakilty v Carrigaline in Bandon
Sat, July 25th @3.30pmSAFCA1O’Donovan Rossa v St. Nick’s in Brinny
Sat, July 25th @5pmPIFCA1Castletownbere v Aghada in Kilmurry
Sat, July 25th @5pmPIFCA1Newmarket v Na Piarsaigh in Banteer
Sat, July 25th @5pmIAFCA1Glenville v Ballinora in Grenagh
Sat, July 25th @7pmPSFCB1Newcestown v Ilen Rovers in Dunmanway
Sat, July 25th @7pmPSFCC1Douglas v Bishopstown Páirc Uí Rinn
Sat, July 25th @7pmPIFCC1Macroom v Kanturk in Cullen
Sat, July 25th @7pmIAFCC1Mayfield v Adrigole in Inchigeela
Sat, July 25th @7.30pmSAFCA1St. Michael’s v Ballingeary in Ovens
Sun, July 26th @2pmIAFCA1Millstreet v St. Finbarr’s in Carrigadrohid
Sun, July 26th @2pmIAFCB1Ballydesmond v Kinsale in Glantane
Sun, July 26th @2pmIAFCB1Rockchapel v Dromtarriffe in Kiskeam
Sun, July 26th @2pmIAFCC1Mitchelstown v Glanworth in Mallow
Sun, July 26th @2.30pmPSFCB1Carbery Rangers v Castlehaven in Clonakilty
Sun, July 26th @3pmSAFCC1Dohenys v Fermoy in Coachford
Sun, July 26th @4pmPIFCB1St. Vincent’s v Knocknagree in Donoughmore
Sun, July 26th @4pmPIFCB1Naomh Aban v Cill Na Martra in Macroom
Sun, July 26th @4pmPIFCC1Nemo Rangers v Gabriel Rangers in Kilmichael
Fri, July 31st @7.30pmPSHCA1Midleton v Sarsfields in Páirc Uí Rinn
Fri, July 31st @7.30pmSAHCC1Fr. O’Neill’s v Kilworth in Ballynoe
Sat, Aug 1st @3.30pmLIHCA1Ballygarvan v Russell Rovers in Riverstown
Sat, Aug 1st @3.30pmLIHCC1Grenagh v Dripsey in Donoughmore
Sat, Aug 1st @3.30pmLIHCC1Tracton v St. Catherine’s in Carrigtwohill
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmPSHCA1Douglas v Ballyhea in Mallow
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmPSHCB1Blackrock v Erins Own in Páirc Uí Rinn
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmSAHCB1Bandon v Charleville in Mourneabbey
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmSAHCC1Ballymartle v Bride Rovers in Ballincollig
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmPIHCA1Courcey Rovers v Carrigaline in Kinsale
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmPIHCC1Inniscarra v Blarney in Coachford
Sat, Aug 1st @5pmIAHCA1Dungourney v Argideen Rangers in Ballinora
Sat, Aug 1st @7.30pmPSHCC1Glen Rovers v St. Finbarr’s in Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmSAHCA1Kanturk v Cloyne in Killavullen
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmSAHCA1Newcestown v Killeagh in Páirc Uí Rinn
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmSAHCB1Mallow v Fermoy in Castletownroche
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmPIHCB1Valley Rovers v Ballinhassig in Riverstick
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmPIHCB1Watergrasshill v Ballincollig in Blarney
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmIAHCA1Kildorrery v Mayfield in Castlelyons
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmLIHCA1Kilbrittain v Barryroe in Timoleague
Sun, Aug 2nd @2pmLIHCB1Castlemartyr v St. Finbarr’s in Riverstown
Sun, Aug 2nd @3pmPSHCB1Bishopstown v Newtownshandrum in Glantane
Sun, Aug 2nd @3pmPSHCC1Na Piarsaigh v Carrigtwohill in Caherlag
Sun, Aug 2nd @4pmIAHCB1Meelin v Douglas in Donoughmore
Sun, Aug 2nd @4pmIAHCC1Glen Rovers v Midleton in Cobh
Sun, Aug 2nd @7pmPIHCA1Aghada v Youghal in Killeagh
Sun, Aug 2nd @7pmPIHCC1Castlelyons v Blackrock in Lisgoold
Sun, Aug 2nd @7pmIAHCB1Eire Óg v Sarsfields in Ballygarvan
Sun, Aug 2nd @7pmIAHCC1Cloughduv v Aghabullogue in Ballincollig
Sun, Aug 2nd @7pmLIHCB1Ballymartle v Milford in Carrignavar

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