BY Monday night, four teams will have waved goodbye to the county senior football championship.
March 18 will be the start and finish of their involvement as the race for the Andy Scannell Cup begins on the Bank Holiday with games in the Divisions/Colleges section.
City representatives Seandún head for Dunmanway to renew rivalry with Beara for a 3pm throw-in.
Former Cork goalkeeper Paddy O’Shea (St Vincent’s) heads up a management team which includes Conor Quinlan (Delanys), John Holly (St Michael’s) and John O’Callaghan (Whitechurch).
“We’re like all the other divisions trying to get our players out,” said O’Shea.
“The Seandún division is very good with the support they offer us, but the bottom line is that clubs don’t want to release their players.
“The weather at this time of the year doesn’t help either because games get called off and that leads to a backlog of fixtures.”
St Vincent’s, St Michael’s and Na Piarsaigh are three premier intermediate clubs in the city while Delanys, Passage, and Brian Dillons are strong junior clubs.
“If you look back over the last 10 years you find it’s the same clubs who are releasing the same players. It’s a pity others don’t do the same, because on paper there’s huge potential if you had a small bit of co-operation.
“We’ve a couple of games played which is a change and while historically we’d be considered a handy draw, Seandún have also surprised a few teams like St Nick’s in recent times and Clonakilty going back 12 or so years.”
Seandún will look to the likes of Darren O’Regan and Gavin McCarthy (St Vincent’s), Cork juniors for the past few years, and the St Michael’s contingent of Donal Cremin, Keith, and Eric Hegarty, and goalkeeper Martin Burke.
Anthony Kidney (Passage) is another capable keeper while Roy Downey (Delanys) is also influential.
“We beat Beara in 2008 when the Barrs and ourselves were down from senior, having been relegated the year before. But, then they beat us in Ballingeary a few years back.
“Hopefully, we can get over this round, build on it and take it from there.”
Beara will have David Clifford and Andrew O’Sullivan to lead their charge.
The CIT-Carbery tie in Brinny at 3pm has the potential to be the game of the round given the quality of players on view. CIT’s Mike Lordan (Ballinora) is one of the more experienced players in the student line-up.
“It’s going to be a tough game. We’ve a lot of young players from small clubs and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’ve lost four or five players from the Sigerson Cup team, but we’ve a number of Freshers available,” said Lordan, a final-year biomedical engineering student.
Con Kelleher is in the CIT manager, who will also look to the likes of Dan Dineen (Cill na Martra), Aidan Browne (Kanturk) and Kerry’s Brian Sugure.
“We’ve done a few training sessions. We’ve had long seasons in the Sigerson and the Freshers and it’s just a question of getting used to each other. Last year we made the last 16, losing to Castlehaven by a point in a replay. They were two fantastic games.
“We were there or thereabouts last year and hopefully we can do the same this season,” he added.
Carbery are managed by Tim Buckley, who is hoping for better fortune than this time last season when UCC denied them by a point.
Cork star Ruairí Deane has opted out to concentrate on inter-county commitments while colleague Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) is with the students.
He’ll be in action against his own clubmate Daniel O’Donovan, while the O’Driscoll brothers — Kevin, Colm and Brian — from Tadhg MacCarthaighs will be central to the south-west division’s prospects.
Fixtures: SFC Divisions/Colleges Preliminary round: MONDAY: Avondhu v Muskerry, Páirc Uí Rinn, 4.15.
Round 1: Seandún v Beara, Dunmanway, 3pm. CIT v Carbery, Brinny, 3pm; Imokilly v Duhallow, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6pm.