COUNTY junior champions, Knocknagree, have been handed an inviting draw in the first round of the county Intermediate Football Championship following yesterday’s unveiling at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
They are paired with neighbours, Rockchapel, in a Duhallow derby which will certainly attract a lot of interest, especially as both will advance to round 3 regardless of the outcome.
That’s because the losers will receive a bye, joining the winners in the drum for the third round draw.
However, that’s in the future, because more immediately, Knocknagree will be gearing up for their All-Ireland junior semi-final against Ulster champions, Naomh Colmcille from Donegal, on Sunday, January 21.
Their opponents had a narrow escape in their quarter-final win over British champions, Dunedin Connollys, in Edinburgh at the weekend, when they required a late free to register a 1-10 to 2-6 victory.
Knocknagree were also involved at the weekend, when adding the county league title to the championship gong following a comprehensive victory over Canovee in the final.
This season’s losing finalists, Mitchelstown, who pushed Kanturk all the way in a thrilling final, won’t be overly concerned about the prospect of meeting Kinsale in round one.
While the Town were successfully negotiating a path to the decider, the fishing town were sucked into a relegation play-off, which they survived following a big win over Carrigaline’s second string.
Cill na Martra, who were one of the fancied sides last term, got to the semi-final stage, where they lost to Mitchelstown.
Now, the Gaeltacht club, who will have the considerable advantage of playing in division 1 of the county leagues, set out on another mission against Ballinora, who took the decision to leave the premier intermediate grade on their own accord.
Cill na Martra have a lot of potential, having reached the U21 final as well, where they put up a spirited showing against Douglas.
Kildorrery were the other semi-finalists this year, falling to a very impressive Kanturk display. They begin with a game against Glanmire.
City side Mayfield are involved in the lone preliminary round tie against Glenville with the winners facing Adrigole in round 1 and the losers facing the losers of Carrigaline-Youghal at the next stage.
There’s an interesting first-round tie between Glanworth, who reached the quarter-finals this year and Grenagh, who were relegated from premier intermediate.
Mayfield v Glenville.
A. Knocknagree v Rockchapel
B. St Finbarr’s v Gabriel Rangers
C. Mayfield or Glenville v Adrigole
D. Millstreet v Clonakilty
E. Aghabullogue v Ballydesmond
F. Ballinora v Cill na Martra
G. Kildorrery v Glanmire
H. Carrigaline v Youghal
I. Grenagh v Glanworth
J. Kinsale v Mitchelstown
Loser of Mayfield/Glenville v loser H, Loser I v loser C, Loser E v loser D, Loser G v loser B, Loser J v loser F, Bye: Loser of Knocknagree or Rockchapel.