RedFM HL wrap: semi-finals could be paired with championship ties

Sarsfields are set to meet Blackrock with Douglas up against Kanturk
RedFM HL wrap: semi-finals could be paired with championship ties

Blackrock's Niall Cashman and Daniel Kearney of Sarsfields pictured with former Co-op SuperStores CEO Jim Woulfe last year - the clubs are set to meet in this year's championship and the game could double up as a RedFM HL Division 1 semi-final. Picture: Jim Coughlan

THE semi-finals of Division 1 of the RedFM Hurling League are set to be doubled up with Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC group games – unless an interesting Sarsfields/Kanturk proposal gains approval at Cork County Board level.

After the weekend’s final round of games in Divisions 1 and 2, Douglas and Blackrock finished top of Division Group A with Sarsfields and Kanturk taking the honours in Group B.

That leaves the semi-finals as Douglas v Kanturk and Sarsfields v Blackrock. 

However, with the championships due to begin on the weekend of July 29-31 and both pairs of teams sharing a group, the likeliest solution would be that their championship ties (Sars-Blackrock on July 30 and Douglas-Kanturk on August 6) would have a dual purpose.

If that is what happens and one or both of those games finishes in a draw, the teams would each receive a championship point but extra time would be needed to find a winner to proceed to the league final.

There is a possible alternative, though, in that Sars and Kanturk are believed to have jointly proposed that the draw be altered, with Sars taking on Douglas and Kanturk meeting Blackrock in the next week or so. 

This is likely to be discussed by the county’s competitions control committee (CCC).

On Saturday, Sars won by 3-29 to 1-17 when Kanturk came to Riverstown, the goals scored by James Sweeney, Aaron Myers and Luke Hackett. Both teams went into the game level on points and sure of advancing, with first and second place the only thing to be decided. 

Kanturk’s goal was scored by Alan Walsh.

This place in that section went to Charleville, who drew 2-17 to 1-20 with Bride Rovers on Friday as James O’Brien and Andrew Cagney found the net for the North Cork side. 

Cillian Tobin got the goal for Bride, who went into the game knowing that a top-five finish – and a spot in next year’s Division 1 – was beyond them, meaning they will be in the new Division 2.

Joining Sars, Kanturk and Charleville in the top flight next year will be Erin’s Own, who beat Mallow by 2-27 to 3-12, with Oran O’Regan and Ronan Twomey netting. 

The final spot goes to Carrigtwohill, whose 0-25 to 1-18 win over Glen Rovers saw them finish level on points with the Glen, finishing higher on a head-to-head tie-break. 

Carrig were thankful for the point-scoring exploits of Liam Gosnell and Seán Walsh. In the other game, St Finbarr’s 0-19 to 0-14 win over Ballymartle confirmed that the Carrigdhoun side finished bottom, meaning they will be in Division 3.

While Douglas were beaten by 2-13 to 1-15 by Na Piarsaigh in Group A, they were already assured of first place. 

The result was significant for Piarsaigh, however, as it meant they finished in the top five, edging out Midleton and Newtownshandrum on scoring difference. 

Pádraig Guest got both of the city side’s goals.

Newtown lost by 0-24 to 0-23 to Blackrock, for whom Michael O’Halloran scored a dozen points. That win kept them ahead of third-placed Fr O’Neills, who beat Fermoy by 3-23 to 1-14. Peter Hackett, Cillian Broderick and Declan Dalton got the goals for the Ballymacoda/Ladysbridge side, while Liam O’Driscoll and Paudie McMahon were among the scores.

Killeagh’s 2-21 to 3-16 win over Bishopstown gave them fourth place and Division 1 for next year. Newcestown finished bottom, meaning they will be in Division 3.

In Division 2, Courcey Rovers and Kilworth were the top two sides in Group A, with Courceys securing top spot. They will face Inniscarra in the semi-finals while Kilworth do battle with Ballincollig, who topped Group B after a big win over Mayfield. 

The two finalists in the competition will take their places in the reorganised Division 2 next year, while the beaten semi-finalists will be in Division 3 along with Blackrock, Blarney, Carrigaline, Bandon, Castlelyons and Éire Óg.

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