RedFM Hurling Leagues: Blackrock and Douglas guaranteed top-flight status

There are 10 teams each in Division 1 Group A and Group B, with the two top-fives forming the new Division 1 and the rest comprising Division 2.
RedFM Hurling Leagues: Blackrock and Douglas guaranteed top-flight status

Cian Twomey, Newcestown, battles Declan Dalton, Fr O'Neills, who has been in top form lately. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

WITH three games remaining in the round-robin stage of the RedFM Hurling Leagues, both Blackrock and Douglas are assured of places in Division 1 in the revamped competition in 2023.

While it was just a formality anyway as the city pair had each won their opening five games in Division 1 Group A, more victories last week rubber-stamped their status for next year.

In the current campaign, there are 10 teams each in Division 1 Group A and Group B, with the two top-fives forming the new Division 1 and the sides finishing in the bottom five comprising Division 2.

It’s a similar state of affairs as the sides in Division 2 Group B and Group B will be split into Divisions 3 and 4. Currently, Division 3 is split into three sections, with those teams forming Divisions 5 and 6 for next year.

Douglas were 0-21 to 0-12 winners away to Fermoy last week, with Daniel Harte, Mark Harrington and Stephen Moylan on form, while Robbie Cotter and Conor O’Brien impressed as Blackrock beat Na Piarsaigh by 1-25 to 0-13.

Those results moved the pair to 12 points each – Fermoy in sixth place are on five points with three matches left, meaning that Douglas and Blackrock would still be in the top five even if they were to lose their remaining fixtures.

 Alan Connolly of Blackrock tries to evade Douglas's Brian O'Neill in the 2020 Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Alan Connolly of Blackrock tries to evade Douglas's Brian O'Neill in the 2020 Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Currently, Newcestown, Midleton and Bishopstown are at the foot of the table on two points each but any of them could still make it into Division 1 for next year with a strong finish to the current programme. The Town had their first win last week as Pearse Morris and Thomas Murray each scored two goals in the 4-14 to 0-12 win over Newcestown. Gary Leahy and Eoghan Keniry for fourth-place Killeagh, who beat Midleton by 3-16 to 1-19.

Another East Cork side, Fr O’Neills, are in third spot on eight points – still in the hunt for a semi-final spot - after beating Newtownshandrum by 3-22 to 1-13, with Billy Dunne netting a hat-trick of goals while Declan Dalton had 11 points.

Mathematically speaking, there are no Division 1 Group B sides fully assured of places in Division 1 but one of Sarsfields and Kanturk will definitely be there. 

Those two sides have 11 points each after five matches so they are as good as qualified but sixth-placed St Finbarr’s could still feasibly finish level on points with the pair.

Sars had two goals from Aaron Myers and one each from Luke Hackett and Colm McCarthy in last week’s 4-21 to 0-13 win against Glen Rovers, while Kanturk were 1-19 to 0-18 victors against Carrigtwohill, with Brian O’Sullivan, Colin Walsh and Aidan Walsh among the points while Liam O’Keeffe got the goal.

Erin’s Own are two points back, having beaten Charleville by 2-21 to 0-23, with Mossie O’Carroll getting both of the goals. Charleville and the Glen occupy fourth and fifth spots at the moment, but the possibility of top-flight hurling next year remains open to all sides in the section at the moment.

DIVISION 3

Courcey Rovers will be in the new Division 3, as their 11 points from five games in Division 2 Group A are enough to guarantee a top-five spot. They picked up their latest win with a 1-24 to 0-20 win over Carrigdhoun divisional rivals Ballinhassig with Kilworth and Carrigaline three points back in a share of second place. There is a three-way Inniscarra tie at the top of Division 2 Group B, as Ballincollig, Éire Óg and Inniscarra are each on 10 points after five games, and the composition of the table means that bottom sides Mayfield and Youghal are all but certain to be in Division 4.

St Catherine’s are current four points clear at the top of Division 3 Group A, with Lisgoold edging Kilbrittain in Group B while Ballygiblin and Castlemartyr are vying for Group C top spot.

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