Dungourney hurlers play the waiting game ahead of 2021 championship

Uncertainty over two spots in the East Cork side's IAHC group
Dungourney hurlers play the waiting game ahead of 2021 championship

Dungourney's Dylan Healy looks for support as he is challenged by Tracton's Ronan Walsh in a 2018 championship outing. Picture: Howard Crowdy

WHILE the majority of GAA clubs across the county have a certain amount of clarity regarding their forthcoming championship opponents, in Dungourney’s case it’s very much an uncertain situation in Group A of the Co-Op Superstores Intermediate A Hurling Championship.

In fact, Sarsfield’s and Dungourney are the only certainties to take part in this section with the two teams having to wait to discover their fate following their respective outstanding games from 2020.

The losers of the Aghabullogue/Éire Óg county final will remain in this grade along, with a fourth team which will be known following the three-way play relegation playoff involving Argideen Rangers, Meelin and Glen Rovers.

As a result, Dungourney manager Martin Denny finds himself in quite an unusual situation as he plans ahead.

“Our aim will be initially to get off to a winning start and then get out of the group, something we failed to do last season. It’s a very strange situation, not knowing who will definitely play. 

"In relation to the unknowns - we played Argideen Rangers last year in the championship opener, met Meelin a few years back in the league, but have not come across Glen Rovers for a long time in league or championship.

“Aghabullogue or Éire Óg will be a hard match - playing the losers of the final is likely to trigger a rebound factor Sarsfield’s are certainly going to be a very tough test as always in the championship.

“Currently in early season training we have a number of players unavailable due to the Leaving Cert, whilst we have also lost a few members of last year’s panel who are now working in Dublin. 

On the plus side, Brian Rodgers has returned to the fold, whilst last season’s early injury victims Shane Hegarty and Ryan Denny are both fully fit.”

Before a ball is pucked in the championship the quick-fire League Cup competition will give Dungourney an early indicator of where they stand. Inniscarra, Milford and Kildorrery will present these forthcoming challenges.

“KIldorrery - our first opponents, having lost to them last year in our final group game, should give us a picture of where we are at.

“Next up will be Inniscarra, who we drew with a few years back in what was a great game. Milford are a side we also met in the relatively recent past.

“We just want to get back out on the pitch and play a game like every other team in the country - the lads are really looking forward to the league, as we have not had a competitive outing since losing to Kildorrery in the group stages of the championship last year,” concluded Martin.

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