COUNTY champions St Finbarr’s head west on Sunday to take on great rivals Castlehaven in the Cork Credit Union League Division 1A for a high noon throw-in.
The pair were involved in a couple of memorable championship semi-finals in the past two seasons, both needing extra-time and penalties.
Last season, the Barrs won 5-4 on spot-kicks en route to winning the final against Clonakilty, avenging the previous year’s defeat, when the Haven captain Mark Collins kept his cool to convert the sudden-death winner.
And while the stakes are more modest on this occasion it will still be competitive and it will also be interesting to see if any of the Cork players are made available to the clubs.
Cork wrapped up their Division 2 league campaign last weekend and aren’t involved in the Munster championship for five weeks against Kerry in the semi-final.
Captain Brian Hurley and newcomer Rory Maguire have been almost ever-present in the seven-match schedule, Hurley only missing the Galway game due to injury and Maguire playing in all seven.
For the Barrs, Ian Maguire, and Steven Sherlock sat out the opening games against Roscommon and Clare due to their involvement in the All-Ireland Club semi-finals, but lined-out in the other five.
Brian Hayes, last year’s Cork U20 captain, appeared off the bench against Meath in Navan while Billy Hennessy played against Derry and Galway, centre-back and corner-back respectively, but has since opted out.
Ballincollig and Kiskeam also have 100% records from their two games and meet Fermoy and Éire Óg respectively over the weekend.
Group B is headed up by Nemo Rangers and Valley Rovers, who meet in Trábeg on Sunday morning, too, and Cill na Martra.
Keeper Micheál Aodh Martin, defender Kevin O’Donovan and Mark Cronin are Nemo’s Cork contingent with the latter starting against Roscommon and summoned from the bench in four others.
The Gaeltacht club are in action against Clyda Rovers in Mourneabbey tomorrow night, bidding to add to wins over O’Donovan Rossa and Ilen Rovers.
Cork defender Tadhg Corkery missed the last two games due to injury and Dan Dineen appeared to pick up a knock in Tullamore.
Either Clonakilty or Ilen Rovers will break their duck in Rath while Carbery Rangers are looking for their first win against Douglas, who’ve won and lost a game apiece.
Meanwhile, the new U19 football league kicked off last evening with games across all the grades, ranging from Premier 1 and 2 to regional groups, including 13-a-side.
“It’s based on Rebel Óg’s U18 structures from last season and it’s really trial and error because some clubs are unsure of entering as well as grading issues, too,” said board vice-chairman Pat Horgan.
The competition is run on groups of four and the board will see how it all pans out before determining any championship plans.
“It’s all about getting players to continue playing after finishing up at minor. We’re also finalising a hurling league, as well,” Horgan added.
Cork Credit Union League Division 3 Group A: Glanmire v Kildorrery, Glanmire, 8pm.
Division 1 Group B: Clyda Rovers v Cill na Martra, Mourneabbey, 8.15pm.
Division 2 Group B: Kanturk v Bishopstown, Kanturk, 3pm.
Division 3 Group B: Boherbue v Mayfield, Boherbue, 3pm.
Division 1 Group B: O’Donovan Rossa v Carrigaline, Skibbereen, 3pm.
Division 2 Group A: Nemo Rangers v Dohenys, Trabeg, 5pm.
Division 1 Group A: Ballincollig v Fermoy, Ballincollig, 5.30pm.
Division 2 Group A: Bandon v Rockchapel, Bandon 6pm.
Division 1 Group A: Mallow v Newcestown, Mallow; Castlehaven v St Finbarr’s, Union Hall; Kiskeam v Éire Óg, Kiskeam, 1pm.
Division 1 Group B: Nemo Rangers v Valley Rovers, Trabeg; Douglas v Carbery Rangers, Douglas; Ilen Rovers v Clonakilty, Rath.
Division 2 Group A: St Vincent’s v Ballydesmond, St Vincent’s; Macroom v Bantry Blues, Macroom; Newmarket v Glanworth, Newmarket.
Division 2 Group B: Na Piarsaigh v Castletownbere, Na Piarsaigh; Mitchelstown v Dromtarriffe, Mitchelstown; Knocknagree v Aghabullogue, Knocknagree; Aghada v Naomh Aban, Rostellan.
Division 3 Group A: Adrigole v Iveleary, Adrigole; Gabriel Rangers v Kinsale, Ballydehob.
Division 3 Group B: Ballinora v Glenville, Ballinora; St Nick’s v Millstreet, Glen Field.