Cork County Board forced to move club championship start dates back

Long-delayed Castlehaven and Nemo county final is now down for August 21-22
Cork County Board forced to move club championship start dates back

Brian Hurley, seen here kicking a free in last season's county semi-final against St Finbarr's,  scored 2-6 in Castlehaven's Division 2 League final win over Newmarket. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

THE Cork County Board has moved last season’s Bon Secours Premier Senior Football final between Nemo Rangers and Castlehaven to the weekend of August 21-22.

The attractive city versus west Cork has been impacted by the Cork hurlers’ progress at the business end of the All-Ireland and victory over Kilkenny in Sunday’s semi-final would send the Rebels into an All-Ireland final on August 22 against Limerick or Waterford.

The Cahalane brothers Damien and Conor, who hurl with St Finbarr’s and play football with the Haven.

And to add further uncertainty, the postponement of Saturday’s All-Ireland U20 hurling final between Cork and Galway due to Covid to Tuesday, August 17 clouds the picture further with a third Cahalane, Jack, an important member of Pat Ryan’s side.

The board’s master fixtures plan has also be affected because the opening round of the 2021 club football championship has been pushed back from August 20-22 to August 27-29, with the club hurling moved out to September 4-5.

The clubs take a breather on September 25-26 to allow for the divisions/colleges finals with Muskerry, UCC and Duhallow involved in football. A semi-final will be played the previous Wednesday.

The last round of group games in hurling takes place on October 2-3 with the football equivalent on the first weekend in October, 9-10, when the quarter-finals will be known.

The knockout stages will then run all the way into November with the last county finals November 20-21. It leaves very little room to manoeuvre for Covid delays.

The champions can come up for air before representing Cork in the Munster club championships during the first three weekends of December.

It’s going to place huge demands on dual clubs, like Éire Óg for example.

The newcomers to the top table in premier senior football await an historic opening round game against past champions Carbery Rangers.

But before that the Ovens club play the final of the intermediate A hurling championship against Aghabullogue at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday at 7pm. Victory there will result a higher grade of hurling at premier intermediate level for basically the same set of players who operate in both codes.

There are three football finals this weekend, starting with the Tom Creedon Cup decider between Adrigole and Ballingeary in Macroom tomorrow night at 8pm.

The county junior final between Iveleary and Boherbue is now on in Mallow on Saturday at 5pm while a couple of hours later in Buttevant, Knocknagree will be trying for a second piece of silverware in a week.

The newly crowned Premier Intermediate champions meet Mitchelstown in the Division 5 final. It’s ideal preparation for the north Cork club whose 2020 Intermediate A Championship final against Rockchapel is provisionally listed for the following weekend.

PRESEASON SHOWDOWNS

The Division 5 league final is the last of the seven finals to be played with the honours spread across the city and county.

As well as St Finbarr’s and Castlehaven collecting the Divisions 1 and 2 titles, Newcestown made it a double for Carbery by defeating Carrigaline 0-14 to 0-11 to win the Division 3 title.

Naomh Abán ensured Muskerry featured in the prizes, too, following their narrow one-point win, 0-17 to 1-13 victory over Bandon in the Division 4 final.

Kilshannig flew the flag for Avondhu in their 0-10 to 0-5 win over Na Piarsaigh in the Division 5 decider, when Jack Twomey was the top scorer with 0-3 from midfield.

Glanmire took Division 7 honours by outscoring Castletownbere 2-6 to 0-1 in extra-time in a 4-14 to 0-15 victory.

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