AFTER an impressive win over Aghada in their opening Co-op SuperStores Premier IHC game last weekend, Ballinhassig will hope to book their place in the knockout stages when they face Ballincollig today.
Brinny is the venue for the Group C game at 2pm, with Ballincollig coming into the game on the back of a draw with Kilworth last week, having been denied by a late equaliser. Conor Desmond, Fintan O'Leary and Simon O’Neill impressed in attack for Ballinhassig as they beat Aghada by 3-24 to 0-17 with 12 different scorers. However, they will need to be as good if not better if a second win is to be achieved. Stephen Wills and Seán Walsh are likely to be among the Ballincollig scorers.
At 3pm in Castlelyons, Kilworth face Aghada. While the draw with Ballincollig means that the game isn’t absolutely must-win for Kilworth, they will be keen to remain in the hunt while Aghada must win to have any hope of progression.
In Group A, Éire Óg will look to maintain their incredible momentum when they do battle with Carrigaline at 4pm in Ballygarvan. Having won the 2020 SAFC and IAHC during the summer, the Ovens side won their opening 2021 games in both codes. Colm O’Callaghan scored two goals in the win over Youghal last week and Kevin Hallissey landed seven points. With Carrigaline having come up four points short in their Carrigdhoun derby against Courcey Rovers last week, another Éire Óg win would all but secure a quarter-final place but if Carrig were to respond and turn the tables it would open the group up again.
Courceys and Youghal clash in Páirc Uí Rinn at 5pm. Against Carrigaline, Richard Sweetnam scored 12 points for the Ballinspittle/Ballinadee side, while Seán Twomey came up with a goal and a point.
Castlelyons and Valley Rovers are the early leaders in Group B, beating Watergrasshill and Inniscarra respectively last week, and their meeting in Ballincollig at 5pm could go a long way towards determining who tops the group. Last year’s beaten finalists Castlelyons showed their attacking potential as James Kearney, Anthony Spillane, David Morrison and Alan Fenton contributed on the scoreboard last week while Valleys will look to Chris O’Leary, Colm Butler and Eoin O’Reilly.
With the winners of that game in the driving seat in the group, the clash of Inniscarra and Watergrasshill in Grenagh at 4pm is a chance for one of last week’s beaten sides to get back on track while the losers will begin to worry about the relegation battle.
In the intermediate A grade, the 2020 lower IHC champions Castlemartyr announced themselves with a bang as they saw off Douglas’s second team in Group B last week and next up for them is a meeting with Blackrock in Cobh at 2pm on Sunday.
The Rockies were beaten by Mayfield last week and the northsiders meet Douglas at St Vincent’s grounds at 3pm on Sunday.
In Group A, Sarsfields – semi-finalists last year – got off to a great start with a win against Aghabullogue, defeated in the 2020 final by Éire Óg in August. Next up for the Glanmire side is an all-East Cork clash with Dungourney in Lisgoold at 5.30pm on Sunday.
Dungourney were seven-point winners over Glen Rovers last week, with the Glen facing Aghabullogue as both sides seek to put themselves back in the qualification race when they play at Ballincollig at 3pm on Sunday.
Midleton hold top spot in Group C, having beaten Meelin last week while Cloughduv and Kildorrery played out a draw. Meelin faced Kildorrery in Newtownshandrum last night while Midleton are up against Cloughduv in Ballinora at 2pm today.
After a West Cork derby win over Argideen Rangers last week, Kilbrittain face Dripsey – victors against Grenagh – in Group A of the Lower IHC Bandon at 3pm tomorrow, at the same time as Argideen face Grenagh in Cloughduv.
Tracton and junior A champions Lisgoold were the Group B winners last week, beating 2020 finalists Russell Rovers and St Finbarr’s respectively. Tracton meet the Barrs in Ballinhassig at 3pm tomorrow, with the Imokilly derby in Dungourney at 2pm.
In Group C, St Catherine’s, who beat Milford last week, face Barryroe in Ovens at 2pm tomorrow, with the West Cork side having opened with a loss to Ballygarvan. The Milford-Ballygarvan game takes place in Mourneabbey at 3pm.