THE second instalment of the group-style county championships will be unveiled on Thursday, when draws are made across the grades.
In football, there are four, premier senior, senior A, premier intermediate and intermediate A, all sponsored by Bon Secours.
But, there will be a significant difference to the inaugural draw because there are no defending champions as the four finals are held over from last season due to Covid restrictions.
Three of those finalists will be in Limbo because until the games are played they won’t know what grade they’ll be playing once the championships are up and running from September.
For example, Éire Óg and Mallow will go into the premier senior draw as one of the bottom seeds, but only the eventual winner will take their place, leaving the loser in senior A again.
Seedings were based on last season’s results and in the top tier they followed a definite line with finalists Castlehaven and Nemo Rangers joined by beaten semi-finals St Finbarr’s all in one pot.
Duhallow were the other losing semi-finalists, but they play in a separate section along with the other divisions and UCC and CIT with just one team progressing to the quarter-finals.
Pot two comprises the three losing quarter-finalists, Ballincollig, Newcestown and Valley Rovers while pot three supplies the teams who finished third in their respective groups, Carbery Rangers, Douglas and Clonakilty.
The fourth pot has Ilen Rovers, who survived the dreaded relegation by overcoming Bishopstown 0-18 to 1-6 in the play-off after they, along with Carrigaline, lost all three group games.
Scoring difference was needed to separate them with Ilen the worst case in this instance on minus 43, having been drawn in the Group of Death with west Cork rivals, Castlehaven, Newcestown and Carbery Rangers.
But, who provided the opposition required the next criterion of the highest-scoring team after Carrigaline and Bishopstown couldn’t be separated because of the pair finishing with the same scoring difference, minus 23.
In that instance Carrigaline prevailed by totalling 1-29 to the Town’s 2-23, an average of just a point a game, reflecting how tight the relegation issue became.
Ilen and Carrigaline will be joined in pot four by the winners of the Éire Óg-Mallow encounter.
Bishopstown are one of the top seeds in senior A along with Fermoy and O’Donovan Rossa, the losing semi-finalists to Mallow and Éire Óg respectively.
St Michael’s and Bandon, who both finished runners-up in their groups and lost at the quarter-final stage, are in pot two with the loser of the Mallow-Éire Óg tie.
Pot three has Clyda Rovers, Ballingeary and Kiskeam with Bantry Blues and Dohenys joined by either Kanturk or Knocknagree in pot four.
The Duhallow rivals qualified for the final of the premier intermediate championship and one of them will be promoted to take the place of St Nick’s, who were relegated from senior A after losing heavily to Bantry Blues in the play-off.
The city club now find themselves in the third tier of the county championships, where they join neighbours Na Piarsaigh and fellow northsiders St Vincent’s.
And because the trio are in separate pots, there’s the possibility of them being drawn in the same group, just like the four west Cork clubs in premier senior last season.
One of the biggest headaches facing the county board is coming up with a junior champion from the remaining 11 clubs to take their place in the intermediate A championship.
The seedings are:
Castlehaven, Nemo Rangers, St Finbarr’s;
Ballincollig, Newcestown, Valley Rovers;
Carbery Rangers, Douglas, Clonakilty;
Carrigaline, Ilen Rovers, Éire Óg or Mallow.
Bishopstown, Fermoy, O’Donovan Rossa;
St Michael’s, Bandon, Mallow or Éire Óg;
Clyda Rovers, Ballingeary, Kiskeam;
Bantry Blues, Dohenys, Kanturk or Knocknagree.
St Nick’s, Cill na Martra, Newmarket;
Kanturk or Knocknagree, Aghada, Nemo Rangers;
Macroom, Castletownbere, St Vincent’s;
Mitchelstown or Rockchapel, Na Piarsaigh, Naomh Abán.
Gabriel Rangers, Mitchelstown or Rockchapel, Kilshannig, Millstreet;
Aghabullogue, Ballinora, Kinsale, Glanworth;
Kildorrery, St Finbarr’s, Adrigole, Dromtarriffe;
JFC winners, Glenville, Ballydesmond, Glanmire.