Minor blessings for the Rebels ahead of trip to Croke Park

Minor blessings for the Rebels ahead of trip to Croke Park

Bishop John Buckley dropped in on the Cork minor hurlers’ training session at Páirc Uí Caoimh last night to wish them luck ahead of the All-Ireland final against Galway on Sunday week. Picture: George Hatchell

THE countdown is very much on to the minor hurlers’ All-Ireland final against Galway and they got the traditional seal of approval last night ahead of the big game.

Bishop John Buckley, well-known on Leeside as a huge sports fan, called in to visit the young Rebels and the management at training in Páirc Uí Chaoimh to wish them luck as they continue their preparations for the trip to Croke Park.

Denis Ring’s side face the Tribe on Sunday week in Croke Park, ahead of the Waterford-Galway senior clash. It’s Cork’s first final appearance since 2007, while they haven’t lifted the title since Tomás O’Leary captained a team featuring John Gardiner, Kieran ‘Fraggie’ Murphy and Setanta Ó hAilpín in 2001.

Meanwhile, three-in-a-row seeking Glen Rovers will have near neighbours Na Piarsaigh to contend with in the fourth round of the SHC, if they can overcome Cork IT in their third round replay on Sunday night.

It’s an exciting prospect for all northside supporters but the champions will certainly not be looking beyond the formidable challenge of the students for the time being.

There could be an all East Cork showdown on the cards too if Killeagh, the story of the championship so far after their defeat of Douglas last weekend, can beat Carbery. A win against the divisional side would pit them against Sarsfields in round four and that game would be hugely appealing for all fans in the barony.

Last season’s beaten finalists, Erin’s Own will be wary of the prospect of facing Duhallow in their fourth round assignment although the Caherlag team will be installed as favourites for that encounter.

SHC Fourth Round: Ballymartle v Bandon, Carbery/Killeagh v Sarsfields, Cork IT/Glen Rovers v Na Piarsaigh, Erin’s Own v Duhallow, Midleton v UCC; byes: Imokilly, Newcestown, Blackrock.

IFC fourth round: (A), Aghabullogue v Rockchapel, (B) Ballydesmond/Glenville V Millstreet/Mitchelstown; Quarter-finals: A v B, Cill Na Martra v Gabriel Rangers, Glanworth v Kanturk, Kildorrery v St Finbarr’s.

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