NEMO against the Barrs and Imokilly versus Sars, the county champions were handed the toughest of quarter-final draws as the remainder of the senior hurling and football championships in Cork were mapped out.
The draws held at Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitted the holders of the Andy Scannell Cup St Finbarr's against Nemo Rangers, who beat the Blues in 2017 in a replay after two epic games.
The Barrs needed extra time to escape to victory against Carbery Rangers in round three but Nemo are untested thus far. Any forward line containing Mark Cronin, Paul Kerrigan and Luke Connolly will be tough to contain while Ian Maguire and Steven Sherlock will be the champs go-to men.
The winners of that city derby will then take on Ballincollig, Kiskeam or Douglas. The Collig swept past Clyda last weekend while hitting 5-15 and this Saturday meet Kiskeam in Mallow. Douglas haven't been contenders in recent campaigns but with their full focus on football after their hurling elimination have the potential to be dark horses.
Imokilly's bid for three in a row continues against Sars, the market club leaders in the East Cork division in the modern era. Sars dumped out Douglas on Saturday night last but if that was impressive, Fergal Condon's Imokilly hit a staggering 34 points against Midleton.
While Paudie O'Sullivan is recovering from a broken collar bone, Colm Spillane and Ciarán O'Brien are long-term casualties and Niall O'Leary committed to UCC this season, the reigning hurling kingpins have an inter-county panel worth of talent, with Deccie Dalton, Brian Lawton and Seamus Harnedy spearheading their formidable attack.
Sars have a combination of experience and class in Conor and Eoin O'Sullivan, Daniel and William Kearney, Jack O'Connor, Eoghan Murphy and Alan Kennedy. Don't write them off
The other sides of both draws are wide open.
Duhallow, last year's runners-up in the SFC, and Clon, with Cork players Mark and Seán White along with Tom Clancy and Liam O'Donovan, could be a belter. There is no obvious pick from Mallow, Newcestown and Ilen in the last quarter-final.
Patrick Horgan and the Glen will be expected to come through the lower half of the SHC, but they won't get anything soft from a Pat Mulcahy-coached Newtown for whom Tim O'Mahony and Jamie Coughlan have been ripping it up.
Carrigtwohill and Ballyhea were both tipped for relegation and now one of them will be in the last four, a staggering turnaround and they can now hurl with freedom having exceeded expectations already.
A. St Finbarr's v Nemo Rangers
B. Kiskeam or Ballincollig v Douglas
C. Duhallow v Clonakilty
D. Mallow or Newcestown v Ilen Rovers
Semi-finals: A v B; C v D.
A. Sarsfields v Imokilly
B. Bishopstown v St Finbarr's
C. Newtownshandrum v Glen Rovers
D. Carrigtwohill v Ballyhea
A v B; C v D.