RedFM Hurling Leagues: still all to play for as action reaches halfway stage

Blackrock and Douglas share lead in Divison 1 Group A while Sarsfields and Kanturk top Group B
RedFM Hurling Leagues: still all to play for as action reaches halfway stage

Olan Murphy of Erin's Own battles against Brian Hayes of St Finbarr's in last year's Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC. The sides clash in the RedFM Hurling League on Friday night. Picture: Larry Cummins

It’s another busy weekend of RedFM Hurling League action, with the fixture programmes across the three divisions reaching the halfway stage.

The leagues will be fully restructured next year with the creation of a six-division competition. To this end, clubs were organised across three tiers for 2022. Divisions 1 and 2 are split into two groups while there are three in Division 3 – those finishing in the top halves of their sections will be in Division 1, 3 or 5 as applicable next year, while the sides in the bottom halves will be in Division 2, 4 or 6.

This in itself will ensure that the leagues remain competitive until the end of the regular schedule before the knockout stages take place, but of course there is also the considerable element of championship preparation at play.

In Group B of Division 1, Sarsfields and Kanturk lead the way with seven points each after four games, having won three and drawn one. Tonight, Sars will look to take top spot on their own, for a couple of days at least, as they take on Mallow in Riverstown at 7.30pm.

All-Ireland U20 medallist Shane O’Regan has made an instant impact in the Sars attack while Aaron Myers and Luke Hackett have also been in good form. Mallow have won one game and lost three so far and if they are to cause a surprise they will look to the likes of Fionn Heffernan, Mark Tobin and Ronan Sheehan.

Tomorrow night, St Finbarr’s clash with Erin’s Own in Togher. The Barrs got their first win a fortnight ago, beating Carrigtwohill, and the availability of Ethan Twomey and Jack Cahalane following Cork’s U20 exit last week should give them a further boost. Their Glounthaune opponents will be hoping to bounce back from successive defeats to Sars and Ballymartle.

Having got their first win against Erin’s Own, Ballymartle host Glen Rovers on Saturday afternoon, with the Glen riding high after a six-goal haul against Bride Rovers. Dean Brosnan scored 1-5 for the city side, while Evan Murphy got 1-4 – the goal from a penalty – with Glen Kennefick, Nathan Goulding, David Dooling and Liam Coughlan getting 1-1 each.

Bride’s next assignment is away to Kanturk on Sunday, with the Duhallow side having drawn against Charleville in their last outing. Charleville are away to Erin’s Own next Tuesday.

All five games in Division 1 Group A take place at 4pm on Saturday. Currently, top spot is shared by city sides Blackrock and Douglas, who have taken maximum points after four games to date.

Douglas will face a stern test of their credentials this weekend as they host Fr O’Neills, who are in third place on six points after picking up three wins so far. Andy O’Connell, Brian Turnbull and Mark Dolan have been among those firing for Douglas so far, while O’Neills have benefited from the return from injury of Declan Dalton as well as strong performances from Billy Dunne and John Millerick.

For Blackrock, it’s a trip to Newcestown, who suffered a big loss to Newtownshandrum in their last game, albeit with an under-strength team. Michael O’Halloran and John Cashman have been to the fore during the Rockies’ good start.

Na Piarsaigh and Newtown are in fourth place, two points behind O’Neills, currently on the right side of the Division 1/Division 2 split for next year. Piarsaigh are at home to Killeagh while Newtown host Bishopstown, with Midleton taking on Fermoy in the other game.

Courcey Rovers, the leaders of Division 2 Group A, are away to Watergrasshill – still seeking their first win – tonight, with the sides level in second, Kilworth and Carrigaline, taking on Blarney and Blackrock.

In Group B, Éire Óg have four wins from four and they will seek a fifth straight victory on Friday night away to Milford, who are in fifth place after winning two and losing two.

Ballincollig and Valley Rovers are two of three sides in a share of second behind the Ovens club and the pair meet on Saturday. Inniscarra, the third side in that trio, are at home to Cloyne.

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