Argideen Rangers and Glen Rovers will be putting it all on the line on Sunday as they meet in the Co-op SuperStores Intermediate A Hurling Championship in Brinny (3pm).
The clubs received a stay of execution of sorts back in April, when it was decided that only one team in the three-team round-robin relegation play-off would be relegated to lower intermediate rather than two, but Meelin’s win over Argideen last weekend – coupled with the Duhallow club’s draw against the Glen last August – means that they are safe and it is one of the other two sides who will drop down. A draw will be sufficient for the Glen to retain their status, but otherwise it is effectively a knockout game.
Goals were the difference last week as Argideen trailed by 2-5 to 0-6 at half-time and ended up losing by 3-11 to 0-14. Bill Fleming scored six points from frees for the Timoleague side, who will also look to the likes of Matthew Lawton, John Michael O’Callaghan and Pádraig and Finbarr Butler for inspiration.
Last summer, Argideen finished bottom of a group that also featured Kildorrery, Mayfield and Dungourney, while the Glen fell short against Aghabullogue, Cloughduv and Midleton. Evan O’Connell and David Brown were among the main men for the city side in the group stage of the championship, while they also had experience in the form of David Busteed and Kenneth McCarthy Coade.
Also on Sunday, a place in the final of the inter-divisional JBHC is up for grabs as Ballyhea take on Belgooly in Páirc Uí Rinn, with 3pm the throw-in time there as well.
The other side of the draw has already been wrapped up – Delanys and Midleton won their quarter-final ties before the East Cork side came out on top in last week’s semi-final in Páirc Uí Rinn, 1-21 to 0-10 the final scoreline.
Ballyhea, beaten in the 2019 county final by Aghabullogue, overcame Kilworth in the divisional decider in early October last year.
Neil Ronan, Stephen Dennehy and the O'Sullivan brothers, Owen and Trevor, all have senior experience.
Belgooly have a much quicker turnaround as their Carrigdhoun divisional final win over Valley Rovers came on June 22. Former Ballymartle man Barry Dywer scored 11 points in a 1-17 to 2-9 triumph against the Innishannon side, while the goal was scored by Ryan Long and Joe O’Sullivan contributed two points. Prior to that, they had overcome Ballinhassig at the semi-final stage on June 12.
Having that vital match practice behind them could be a key factor in getting the better of their opponents, though Ballyhea will be keen to try to give themselves a chance to atone for the 2019 loss and a tilt against their fellow Magpies.