OVER to the hurlers this week as the Rebel Óg minor championships continue.
Last week it was the turn of the footballers and tonight the hurlers get the chance to get up and running. Games are being played all across the county and like football, there are more than 65 clubs involved at various levels.
Any neutral fan who goes along to watch the Premier 1 games will not be disappointed as they all have the potential to be cracking affairs. The two ties in the famed northside clubs of the Glen and Na Piarsaigh are sure to draw huge numbers of supporters of the four sides in action.
The defending champions, Glen Rovers, get their campaign off to a tough test against Midleton, while their arch-rivals in Na Piarsaigh are at home to Ballincollig.
Last year the Glen wouldn't have been mentioned by too many ahead of the minor championship but they went about their task quietly and were deserving winners of the title. With home advantage and Stephen Lynam leading the attack, they will be expected to get the better of the Magpies, who have Cork minor Tadhg O'Leary Hayes in their ranks, but won't have it all their own way.
Not too far away last year's U16 champions, Na Piarsaigh, will be looking to continue that good form against the Village, again with a home win the most likely outcome. They will be hoping the likes of Ross O'Sullivan, Alex Lynch, and Kian Galvin show the class they displayed at U16 level last year. Ballincollig will lean on Cork minor Pete Kelly, Conor Dalton, Eoin Dwyer, Darragh Lee and David O'Leary.
Valley Rovers are at home to Sarsfields, two sides that will fancy their chances of being there or thereabouts. Valleys were beaten in both U16 Premier 1 finals last year, but deserve massive credit for getting to both. It's not an easy task but they will be looking to get off to a winning start and will look to the likes of Seán Mac an tSaoi, David Carthew, Anthony Slattery and Kevin Dart O'Flynn to get the better of the East Cork side.
The final tie sees Fermoy at home to Douglas, with the city side slight favourites to get off to a winning start.
In the Premier 2 championship U16 title winners Erins Own will be hoping to keep their winning run going with a tough tie against near-neighbours Killeagh.
Na Piarsaigh v Ballincollig; Fermoy v Douglas; Valley Rovers v Sarsfields; Glen Rovers v Midleton.
Carrigtwohill v Aghada; Inniscarra v Bishopstown; Erins Own v Killeagh; St Catherine's v Bride Rovers; Mallow v Shandrum.
Kiltha Óg v Cobh; Nemo Rangers v Watergrasshill; Youghal v Fr O'Neill's.
Ballygiblin v Whitechurch.
Charleville v Clyda Rovers, Dromtarriffe v Kilworth Araglen Óg, both 7.30pm.
Millstreet v Buttevant, 7.30pm.
St Dominics v Doneraile, 7.30pm.
Ballinora v Aghabullogue, Donoughmore v Kinsale; Éire Óg v Cloughduv, Grenagh v Blarney.
St Vincent's v Castlelyons; Diarmuid Ó Murchu Tracton (7.15pm); Ballygarvan v Brian Dillons.
Bandon v Cill Mochomog.
Ahan Gaels v Ibane Gaels; Owen Gaels v Newcestown; Clonakilty v Sliabh Rua (7.30pm).
Laochra Óg v St James; Lee Gaels v Sam Maguires; Rossa Gabriels v Western Gaels.
Ballinhassig v St Finbarr's, 1pm.
Kilbrittain v Courcey Rovers, 11.30am.