Linda Mellerick previews the Cork club camogie championship

Five games in the second round will see five teams' campaign come to an end
Linda Mellerick previews the Cork club camogie championship

Elaine Casey, Ballincollig, and defender Orla Twomey, Courcey Rovers, chase possession. Picture: Larry Cummins.

FIVE of the 19 teams will exit this year’s SE Systems Senior Championship this weekend as the ‘losers’ round takes place.

Some of the sides playing for survival took heavy defeats in their opening round, Ballincollig to holders Courcey Rovers, Éire Óg to Glen Rovers, Cloughduv to Killeagh, Douglas to Enniskeane, Muskerry to Carbery.

 Tara McCarthy, Glen Rovers, battles Orla Beechinor, Éire Óg, for the sliotar in the Camogie Championship opener last weekend. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Tara McCarthy, Glen Rovers, battles Orla Beechinor, Éire Óg, for the sliotar in the Camogie Championship opener last weekend. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

There are some tasty battles to look forward to with this weekend’s fixtures and progression is what it’s all about for a lot of these clubs. Winning the championship may not have been their outright target at the start of the season but they all came in hoping to give a good account of themselves, progress as far as they can and develop their side.

Sarsfields drew the lucky straw and have two games behind them already, accounting for Milford and Newcestown.

The more games the better. They had a comfortable win over Milford who managed to hit just six points. Ashling Thompson only took to the field for the final 15 minutes, but regardless, Milford have rebuilding to do.

They maintain the playing skills of Marie Watson and Laura Stack. It’s hard to call how their game against Éire Óg will go but you would tip them. Éire Óg are hit with a number of injuries, and last Sunday evening didn’t go well for them.

A bounce back tomorrow would be a big deal and give them another outing in round four.

Douglas and Ballincollig is a game that should be a tight affair. Both sides will want a big improvement on their first day out. Outside of the two Mackey’s, Katrina and Pam, Douglas had good performers in Chloe Nason, Jess Kavanagh, and Joy Leo always gives it her all.

Meeting the champions isn’t the best of opening rounds for a side but Ballincollig had to do that while also nursing a number of injuries, so this is a must-win for either club, indeed for all clubs this weekend.

Inniscarra face divisional side Muskerry. Inniscarra players such as Rosie and Katie O’Mahony and Niamh Dilworth are after giving some wonderful years to their club. They are sticking around as the rebuilding takes place with a strong underage structure in the club.

They will be expected to overcome Muskerry and advance to round 4.

 Joanna Casey, Inniscarra, taking a shot on goal under pressure from Aoife O'Neill, St Finbarr's. Picture: Dan Linehan
Joanna Casey, Inniscarra, taking a shot on goal under pressure from Aoife O'Neill, St Finbarr's. Picture: Dan Linehan

I didn’t see Imokilly’s defeat to Ballygarvan but it’s great they're back in senior action. Historically Imokilly have had great success in the cork championship, winning five titles from 1972 to 1976 and losing the final to Glen Rovers in 1996, St Finbarr’s in 2006 and a thriller of a game against Inniscarra in 2010 after a replay.

They lost the services of Sarsfields but clubs such as Midleton and Aghada have since joined the set up. They face a young Cloughduv tomorrow who gave a battle against Killeagh, but the latter’s inter-county players proved too much to overcome. An interesting clash awaits here.

On Sunday, Newcestown and Seandún take centre stage in Castle Road. 

Seandún have tremendous talent on paper but if the teamwork isn’t there, it isn’t going to happen for them. It wasn’t there last weekend but a game behind them should help. The junior and intermediate championship playing alongside the senior championship makes it all the harder for divisional sides, but the calendar window is short. 

Brian Dillon’s, Na Piarsaigh and St Vincent’s all played games last Friday evening before they played St Catherine’s and bodies were sore and tired. Susan Kate Brosnan didn’t start through injury. Sinead Mills and Niamh O’Leary carried muscle injuries into the game while Amy O’Connor had to be withdrawn eighteen minutes in. 

Teamwork will improve the further Seandún go on in the competition and that’s what they’ll be hoping for. Newcestown were a joy to watch last season, playing with tremendous heart. Only six points separated them and Sars last weekend. They’ll bring the same intensity to the pitch on Sunday.

SATURDAY

Douglas v Ballincollig, Ballygarvan, 3.30pm; Cloughduv v Imokilly, Castle Road, 5.15pm; Éire Óg v Milford, Coachford, 2pm. Inniscarra v Muskerry, Cloughduv, 2pm.

SUNDAY

Seandún v Newcestown, Castle Road, 5.15pm.

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