Cork County SHC: Glen Rovers v Charleville, Mallow, 7pm.
THE favourites tag is placed firmly around the Glen here but they will be very mindful of the results from last weekend when a lot of the more fancied sides in this championship took a hit, among them one of the title favourites from Church Road.
So, it’s fair to assume that the Glen will tread warily here against a side that may be newcomers to the grade but who have already the scalp of Erin’s Own under their belt.
Of course, the Caherlag outfit departed the competition subsequently at the hands of Kanturk but Charleville’s victory was notable nonetheless.
The Glen are a side who are quite capable of putting it up to the best and quite a few of their players are well versed in how to win the ultimate prize as they showed in 2015 and 2016.
They faced a difficult opening encounter back in the Spring against Midleton but they passed that test with flying colours, winning by four points on a scoreline of 1-17 to 0-16.
The exhibited plenty of character that day, trailing by three points entering the final quarter, they scored 1-4 without reply to claim the victory.
Cathal Hickey, between the sticks, showed again that day what an outstanding keeper he is while at the other end of the field, Patrick Horgan posted the big scores.
Conor Dorris will be another key figure on Saturday night while Liam Coughlan and Simon Kennefick are, among others, who can secure scores.
There is still a lot of experience in this team, apart from Horgan you have Stephen McDonnell, Brian Moylan, David Dooling and Dean Brosnan.
In fact, there is a fine blend to this Glen set-up.
Charleville showed that they are well capable of competing at this level in the win over Erin’s Own and in Ben O’Connor they have the ideal man at the helm.
Darragh Fitzgibbon is fully fit again and will, obviously, be discussed in the Glen’s plans.
Andrew Cagney, Alan Dennehy, Finbarr Cagney, Kevin O’Connor, Darren Butler and Danny O’Flynn are all very good hurlers who have grown in stature since their run to Croke Park last Spring.
Fitzgibbon is their key man, similar to what Horgan is for the Glen and trying to curtail both could be key to the outcome.
At the end of the day, however, the Glen look stronger and have that greater level of experience. This could well be a cracker and the vote from this quarter goes to the Glen.
Verdict: Glen Rovers.
Cork County SHC: Carrigtwohill v Bandon, Ovens, 7pm.
When Carrigtwohill got demolished by the Barrs in round one, very few gave them much chance of any progress this season.
However, here they are, their season reinvented after a fine win over Killeagh in the second round and cautiously optimistic going in here against the West Cork team.
Carrig must be given lots of credit for bouncing back after that opening round loss and fair dues to them for that.
Bandon, however, will be a different and more difficult challenge altogether and will be energised after their opening day win against Newcestown, the side that put them out of contention 12 months earlier.
That game back in April was an old-fashioned game of ball where honesty from both sides was the key word.
Ronan Crowley delivered 1-10 for Bandon that day with Adam Murphy posting 0-3.
There’s a lot of strong hurlers in this Bandon side, Donough Lucey is still a key man while others like Jason Hickey, Mikey Cahalane, Mark Sugrue and Peter Murphy know what’s involved.
There is a toughness about them too that always makes it difficult for any opponent.
Carrig won a bit of a dogfight against Killeagh after losing to the Barrs by 21 points.
Pádraig Hogan, goalie Shane Devlin, Liam Gosnell, Aaron Walsh-Barry, Brendan McCarthy, Jay Horgan and Tomás Hogan give the side a good blend and they realise now that they are very much in bonus territory after that opening day defeat.
They’ll have a go here again but Bandon look a better bet with more firepower in front of goal.
Overall, they are probably better balanced too and they should emerge.
But after the results of last weekend, you would not put your house on them.