During Glen Rovers’ 26-year wait for a title between 1989 and 2015, Na Piarsaigh picked up three titles in 1990, 1995 and 2004 and with a strong minor team are considered a rising force again.
Na Piarsaigh also beat the Glen in their last championship meetings in 2010 and 2013, though the Blackpool outfit are now chasing three in a row. They meet tomorrow at 7.45pm at Páirc Uí Rinn, after Bandon versus Ballymartle at 6pm.
“We are happy enough where we are, we haven’t lost a game of any description since losing to Sars earlier this season,” said selector Des Cullinane. “We’d like to believe we are in a good vein of form going in against Na Piarsaigh.’’
The Glen have brought in new faces this summer like Mark Dooley, Adam Lynch, Adam O’Donovan, Evan O’Connell, Glen Kennefick and Liam Coughlan, though Patrick Horgan, Stephen McDonnell and Conor Dorris remain key men.
For Na Piarsaigh Chris Joyce is their talisman, but Dayne Lee, Padraigh Gould and Padraigh Guest form a potent inside line. Cork minors Evan Sheehan, if he’s fit, and Craig Hanifin, but Daire Connery can’t as he’s only 17.
Meanwhile, Cork GAA bosses will bring a motion to Special Congress later this month recommending that the latter stages of the All-Ireland hurling championship mirror the new football structure in 2018.
The Cork County Board proposal would see two groups of four teams, run off on a round-robin basis, replace the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Croke Park have mooted a round robin provincial hurling championship in Munster and Leinster, but Leeside chiefs believe that would impact on clubs too severely. They fear that if Croke Park’s proposal received the green light at Special Congress on September 30, club activity in Cork from April to June would be shut down.
“We conducted analysis on the amount of adult championship games we have played during the month of July over the past five years. The average is 13 games, that’s minuscule. Our motion is realistic and cognisant of Cork’s situation, which encompasses a huge amount of club games early in the summer,” said chairman Ger Lane.
There were only five senior club matches (three hurling, two football) played in Cork throughout July. This figure stands in stark contrast to the 30 games (15 senior hurling, 15 senior football) run off across April and May.
“Under the current proposal by Croke Park, we would see the big issue for us as having no club games during the months of May and June, and April were you to reach a league final. There is an acceptance that some change is needed, but we felt the proposals put forward didn’t help Cork.”