Cork GAA: Packed weekend will decide club football knockout stages

After a thrilling schedule of hurling matches concluded, football is in the spotlight across four grades
Cork GAA: Packed weekend will decide club football knockout stages

Alan Walsh, Kanturk, in action against St Nicks in the PIFC. Picture: Larry Cummins.

HOW many clubs will be left with a dual mandate after the completion of the group phase in the Bon Secours County Football Championships at the weekend?

Hurling has wrapped up its equivalent and left a small number who will definitely be balancing hurleys and footballs in the coming weeks.

Take Blackrock, the reigning Premier senior hurling champions, whose sister club, St Michael’s, have also qualified for the quarter-finals of the senior A football championship, with a game to spare.

St Michael's goalkeeper Martin Burke being tackled by Dave Scannell, Kiskeam. Picture: Denis Boyle
St Michael's goalkeeper Martin Burke being tackled by Dave Scannell, Kiskeam. Picture: Denis Boyle

Douglas, who provide the Rockies with their opponents in the last-six, are also contending in Premier senior football and are top of their group, with maximum points from two games.

But, they face holders, Nemo Rangers, who must win to progress, while Valley Rovers are also in the frame, having reached the knockout stage in Premier intermediate hurling, too.

Sarsfields, who clinched the lone semi-final spot in Premier senior hurling, could be joined by Glanmire in the knockout phase in intermediate football, though they face a difficult task against Aghabullogue, who are also flying in hurling.

And Sars’ second team are also at the business end of matters in intermediate A hurling.

Another top-tier football club, Newcestown, are knocking on the door of qualification and bidding to join the hurlers, who reached the quarter-finals in senior A.

Mallow are also on the double trail, having pitched their tent in the quarter-final of Premier intermediate hurling last weekend and are group leaders in senior A football with every chance of making the play-offs.

Last season, they reached the final, only to lose to Éire Óg, who take on Newcestown for a place in the quarter-finals in Premier senior football.

Kanturk’s many dual players know what it takes when it comes to juggling both codes, after doing it so successfully in recent years, and they’re doing it again this season.

The hurlers made it to the senior A quarter-finals and the footballers are also through in Premier intermediate, despite having only played twice.

Aghabullogue, who qualified in intermediate A hurling, are highly fancied to progress in football, too, topping their group at intermediate level and holding a big advantage in scoring difference.

They need only avoid defeat to Glanmire to book their play-off spot.

Other clubs are operating at different levels, like Bride Rovers, whose hurlers are in the senior A quarter-finals, while the footballers are gearing up for a crack at the East Cork junior title.

St Finbarr’s, one of the most successful dual clubs in the county, bowed out of the hurling in the so-called group of death, comprising the Rockies, Erin’s Own, and Charleville.

But, their footballers have advanced in Premier senior and their second string are in with a shout of joining them in intermediate A going into the last game, against Millstreet.

The pair are level on points with the same scoring difference of minus five, so it’s everything to play for in a group dominated by county junior champions, Iveleary, who have qualified.

FIXTURES: 

SATURDAY:

IAFC (All 4pm): 

Group A: Mitchelstown v Kildorrery, Araglen; Glanmire v Aghabullogue, Ballyanley.

Group B: Kilshannig v Adrigole, Castletown-Kenneigh; Glanworth v Glenville, Fermoy.

Group C: Millstreet v St Finbarr’s, Macroom; Kinsale v Iveleary, Brinny.

Group D: Dromtarriffe v Gabriel Rangers, Kilmichael; Ballinora v Ballydesmond, Donoughmore.

PIFC (All 7.30pm): 

Group A: Kanturk v Naomh Aban, Mallow; St Nick’s v Macroom, Ovens.

Group B: Cill na Martra v St Vincent’s, Pairc Ui Rinn; Nemo Rangers v Rockchapel, Glantane.

Group C: Newmarket v Castletownbere, Dunmanway; Na Piarsaigh v Aghada, Carrigtwohill.

SUNDAY: 

PSFC (All 2pm): 

Group A: Douglas v Nemo Rangers, Pairc Ui Rinn; Carrigaline v Valley Rovers, Ballinhassig.

Group B: Castlehaven v Carbery Rangers, Leap; Eire Og v Newcestown, Kilmurry.

Group C: St Finbarr’s v Clonakilty, Coachford; Ballincollig v Ilen Rovers, Ballinacarriga.

SAFC (All 4pm): 

Group A: O’Donovan Rossa v Ballingeary, Aughaville; Bandon v Dohenys, Enniskeane.

Group B: St Michael’s v Knocknagree, Glantane; Bishopstown v Kiskeam, Carrigadrohid.

Group C: Mallow v Bantry Blues, Cill na Martra; Fermoy v Clyda Rovers, Ballyclough.

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