Preview: Rebel Óg minor football grades will be decided this week

Group stages of the Premier 1 and Premier 2 competitions will be concluded by Sunday
Preview: Rebel Óg minor football grades will be decided this week

Ballincollig's Brian Dore wins possession under pressure from Douglas' Jack Cunningham, during their Premier 1 Minor Football Championship clash at Ballincollig. Picture: David Keane.

IT’S back to club action tonight as the second round of the minor football championship throws in.

Round three will then take place at the weekend, with most games on Saturday.

It was delayed by the successful Munster campaigns by both the Cork hurlers and footballers, with the former going on to win the All-Ireland title as well.

But all that will be put to the back of the minds of players tonight as some bid to secure their place in the semi-final and others aim to get their campaigns back on track, having lost their first-round encounters.

In section one of the Premier 1 championship wins for Ballincollig and Nemo will more or less secure their places in the semis and both will be favourites to do so, despite being away from home.

Nemo make the short trip down the road to Douglas, while Ballincollig travel across the city to take on Na Piarsaigh.

Ballincollig had a comprehensive win over Douglas in round one and were fully deserving of it on the night. They were much the better side and will be hoping the likes of Pete Kelly can have a repeat performance tonight. He hit 2-4 of their 3-12 total, which could have been more were it not for a number of good saves by Douglas keeper Daniel Walsh.

Others to impress for them were Darragh O’Shea, Rory O’Flynn and Cork minor hurler Tadhg O’Connell.

Na Piarsaigh didn’t make it easy for Nemo in round one and they certainly won’t either for the Village and in the likes of Liam O’Driscoll, Ross O’Sullivan, and Michael Sheehan have scoring threats of their own.

It should be an entertaining game but the Village should be safely into the semi-final at the final whistle.

The derby tie will be one that neither Douglas nor Nemo will want to lose, with the Trabeg side going in as favourites to join Ballincollig in the knock-out stages.

This is an impressive Nemo side, with Cork minor Conor Cusack anchoring their defence. Up front they have the likes of Arjoms Petrov, Ross Corkery and Cork minor Ross Corkery to call upon.

Douglas will have been disappointed with their showing against Ballincollig and know another loss will see their title ambitions end.

In Walsh, they have an outstanding keeper and they will also look to Jack Cunningham, Shane Tobin and Evan Collins to try and get back on track.

If both Ballincollig and Nemo win then they are through to the semis as they can’t be caught, but a win for either of their opponents opens the door again for them.

In section two St Finbarr’s are at home to Mallow, with the winners in a strong position to advance to the semi-final. That would put them on four points with the losers on two and the winners of the other tie in this group, St Michael’s v Bantry Blues also on two points.

The Barrs welcome back Fionn Crowley to their panel and will also look to the likes of Ben O’Connor and William Buckley to take the points

Mallow will be looking for big games from the likes of Sam and Declan Copps, Ronan O’Sullivan and Bill Kingston to win.

In the Premier 2 ties, the derby tie between Inniscarra and Éire Óg should be a cracker, while Kilshannig will be aiming to get the better of Carrigaline. Kinsale and Valley Rovers is a tough one to call, but the visitors might just be too strong for the former.

All sides will know exactly where they stand before the final round of group games at the weekend, before the knockout stages.

TONIGHT

Premier 1 MFC, all games at 6.30pm unless stated: Na Piarsaigh v Ballincollig; Douglas v Nemo Rangers; St Finbarr’s v Mallow.

Premier 2 MFC: Éire Óg v Inniscarra; Kilshannig v Carrigaline; Kinsale v Valley Rovers.

SATURDAY

Premier 1 MFC, all games at 1pm unless stated: Ballincollig v Nemo Rangers; Douglas v Na Piarsaigh, 3pm; Bantry Blues v Mallow; St Finbarr’s v St Michael’s.

Premier 2 MFC: Bishopstown v Éire Óg; Carrigaline v Valley Rovers.

SUNDAY

Premier 2 MFC: Kinsale v Kinshannig, 6pm.

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