Major minor games as Rebel Óg hurling finals take place

Major minor games as Rebel Óg hurling finals take place
Picture: Howard Crowdy

IN a twist of faith all three Carrigaline Court Hotel MHC finals ask the same intriguing question.

Can earlier round results be overturned or will it be a double victory for the winners in previous rounds?

In earlier rounds of their respective competitions, these sides have met already, with Midleton beating Glen Rovers in round one, Inniscarra getting the better of Blackrock and Carrigtwohill at their respective levels.

But, just like the Cork senior team in their second clash with Waterford, will the victors be finding out how tough it is to beat the same team twice in the one year, not to mind the same competition.

Midleton took the direct route to the final, with wins over Carbery and Duhallow, in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

The Glen recovered from that first round loss and received a bye in the next round. Their next two games were far from easy as they took on two of the sides, along with Midleton, tipped for overall honours.

First, they had to get over the tough challenge of Sarsfields and their reward for that was a clash with Douglas in the semi-final. They came through these two games and now find themselves with a chance of gaining revenge for that first round loss.

Finals are never easy to predict and though Midleton will be tagged as favourites they won't be taking it for granted.

Glen manager, Mark Kennefick, described his players as an honest bunch, who leave it all on the pitch every game.

“Some might say we are punching above our weight to have reached the final, but they are a great bunch of lads and give it everything in every game. We didn't play as well as we can in the first round when Midleton beat us, but they are a quality side and it's going to be another tough game tonight.

“We will give it a go and hopefully we get that little bit of luck and run of the ball you need to win.”

On the opposite side Midleton boss, Paudie O'Brien, is well aware of how difficult it can be to beat a team for the second time in a championship.

“It's my job to have our fellas motivated and tuned into what we have to do tonight. We have lost Chris Power and Cathal Gunning and they are big losses to us, but we will be giving it everything to come out on top.

“Our U14 and U16 sides have both lost county finals in recent weeks and hopefully we can put a stop to that losing run tonight,” concluded Paudie.

The Premier 2 final saw Inniscarra beat Blackrock in an earlier round, but both sides would admit the one-sided scoreline wasn't a true reflection on the game.

Like Midleton, Inniscarra will be favourites but the Rockies have a good record at minor level over the years. Their win over Shandrum in the semi-final will be a massive confidence booster ahead of tonight's final.

Inniscarra will be hoping it's third time lucky having lost two previous finals and it should certainly get the doubleheader off to a great start.

They have at least nine of last year's side still available to them tonight and no doubt, they will be looking to go one better this year.

Selector, Sean O'Mahony, said they won't be reading anything into their previous win over the Rockies, by 6-14 to 1-15.

“To be honest they gave away three soft goals and the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. Our record in finals hasn't been great and hopefully, we can put that right tonight. They have some quality players and we know this is going to be a real battle,” concluded Sean.

Rockies manager, Liam Kennedy, agrees the previous meeting wasn't as bad as the score looked.

“It was a shocking night and we gave away a few easy goals. But we regrouped and are looking forward to the final and it gives us a chance to show how we are capable of playing. The will be favourites, but we will give it our all,” said Liam.

Tomorrow night, in Carrigaline, Fermoy will be hoping to recover from their winners round loss to Carrigtwohill, a game they led by seven points at one stage before their east Cork side turned it around.

FIXTURES

TONIGHT

Carrigaline Court Hotel Premier 2 MHC final: Blackrock v Inniscarra, Pairc Ui Rinn, 6.30pm.

Carrigaline Court Hotel Premier 1 MHC final: Glen Rovers v Midleton, Pairc Ui Rinn, 8.15pm.

TOMORROW

Carrigaline Court Hotel Premier 2A MHC final: Fermoy v Carrigtwohill, Carrigaline, 8pm.


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