ST FINBARR’S begin the defence of their Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 title with a visit to Clonakilty tomorrow for a 2pm start.
As with last season, it’s the top two teams at the end of the 10-match schedule who’ll contest the final.
In 2019, the ‘Barr’s and Cill na Martra filled first and second and the senior club triumphed by 3-17 to 2-10 in an entertaining decider.
The Togher club were represented by defender Dylan Quinn (24) at the launch earlier in the week, but he’s out injured at the moment.
“Last year I struggled with a hip injury and I could really only take it game by game.
“This time now I’m hoping to get it sorted, in the next few weeks, all going well. It’s all due to wear and tear. I’ve to build it back up again.
“My last game was the championship defeat to Nemo (at the end of September), but, with a good rehab, I should be back fairly soon.
“I had an operation when I was 18 or 19 and it was okay until last season, so I’ve to get it sorted once and for all.
Clon won four, drew one and lost five of their games last season, but, like the ‘Barr’s, will be missing their Cork contingent.
“It will be a tough game in west Cork, as they all are. We never find it easy down there so it will be a good test as to where we are.
“I won’t be involved and I’ve not targetted any game in particular for my return. I’m not doing any running just yet, more gym work, so the the first target is to get back out running.
‘Barr’s were county champions in 2018, but relinquished their title in the quarter-finals.
“It’s much the same as last season in terms of players and management with a couple of exceptions.
“We’re down a couple of lads. Michael Shields is taking a step back this year to play intermediate and Enda Dennehy is still in Dubai.
“He went at the end of last season and was with us in the league.
“Enda’s a very good player to have around, but he’s teaching over there so we won’t have him this year.
“We’ve others with a few niggling injuries so that will open the door for some of the younger players, who’ll get experience by playing in the league.
“Paul O’Keeffe is the manager and Mick Comyns has returned, too.
“He knows all the lads and its great to have him around. Other than that it’s the same management as last season. Ian Maguire remains captain,” Quinn added.
Cill na Martra get their show on the road with a visit from Mallow, who won division 2 last season, accounting for Castlehaven, who don’t play this weekend. in the final.
St Michael’s did well to retain their top-flight status at the first attempt, finishing mid-table with five wins and five defeats.
They head to play Kiskeam, who were a place ahead of them in the final listings.
Ballincollig are at home to O’Donovan Rossa in the other Division 1 encounter.
Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 League: Division 1: Ballincollig v O’Donovan Rossa, Ballincollig; Cill na Martra v Mallow, Cill na Martra; Clonakilty v St Finbarr’s, Clonakilty; Kiskeam v St Michael’s, Kiskeam.
Division 2: Ballingeary v Carrigaline, Ballingeary; Éire Óg v Newmarket, Ovens; Ilen Rovers v Kanturk, Rath; Newcestown v Clyda Rovers, Newcestown; Valley Rovers v Douglas, Brinny.
Division 3: Aghada v Glanworth, Rostellan; Castletownbere v Bandon, Castletownbere; Naomh Abán v Knocknagree, Ballyvourney.
Division 4: Bantry Blues v Bishopstown, Wolfe Tone Park; Dromtarriffe v Glenville, Dromtarriffe; Kinsale v Na Piarsaigh, Kinsale.
Division 5: St Nick’s v St Finbarr’s, St Nick’s, 11am; Kilshannig v Grenagh, Kilshannig; Millstreet v Adrigole, Millstreet.
MONDAY: Division 3: Macroom v Nemo Rangers, Macroom, 7.30. Aghabullogue v Dohenys, Cloughduv, 8pm.