LISGOOLD show no signs of being overawed with the step up to the Co-op SuperStores Cork IAHC as they recorded a 2-27 to 2-15 Group A win over Blackrock in Cobh on Sunday.
Last year, the East Cork club won the JAHC and the Lower IHC (now Premier IHC) in the space of just over three months and they extended their winning run in county championship games to nine.
Diarmuid Healy, a member of the successful Cork minor side in 2021, marked his adult-level debut with 2-5, while Liam O’Shea landed 11 points in another display of strong dead-ball accuracy. Mark Hegarty had five points while sub Tom Savage scored two after his introduction.
Also in that group, another Imokilly side – Aghada – were comfortable winners against Midleton, with 0-19 to 1-14 the final score in Castlemartyr on Saturday. Teenager Ronan Murphy, making his debut, had six points from play while Charlie Terry had three, with free-taker William Leahy contributing seven points.
In Group B, Dungourney sent out a strong statement as they beat Douglas by 4-27 to 0-7 in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday. Leading by 0-11 to 0-2 at half-time, the victors powered on with goals from Shane Hegarty, James Ahern, Jack Leahy and Bryan Forbes in the second period while Ryan Denny featured among the point-scorers.
Cloughduv also got off to a winning start in that section, with Friday night’s clash against Aghabullogue finishing 2-20 to 1-18 in their favour. Niall Buckley had the early goal as Aghabullogue led in the first half before Cloughduv got on top. Mark Verling and Stephen O’Donoghue had the goals for the winners while Brian Verling finished with nine points and Jason Mannix and Mark Walsh had four each.
Kildorrery enjoyed a 3-20 to 0-11 triumph against Meelin in Buttevant in Group C, with their goals coming from James McEniry, John O’Connor and Cathal Harrington.
In Whitechurch, Sarsfields came out on top in their local derby with Mayfield, winning by 3-25 to 1-15. Seán Higgins, Ben Nodwell and Luke Elliott all scored goals for the Riverstown side, who were repeating last year’s semi-final win against their neighbours, while Patrick O’Driscoll and Edward Gaffey also made their presence felt on the scoreboard.
In the Premier JHC, the side beaten by Lisgoold in last November’s final, Kilbrittain, began with a win in Group A as they overcame Milford by 3-16 to 2-17 in Coachford. Philip Wall, Sam Shorten and Tom Harrington raised green flags for the West Cork men, who had Mark Hickey to thank for his potency from placed balls. The other game in that group was on Saturday in Ballinhassig, with Barryroe coming back from what was a five-point deficit at one stage against St Finbarr’s.
They are joined on two points by Argideen Rangers after the Timoleague side edged their contest against Ballygarvan in Bandon, winning by 0-19 to 2-11. John Michael O’Callaghan was the scorer-in-chief for the Timoleague club, contributing heavily from open play and frees, while Seán Walsh and Darragh O’Donovan also made important scoring contributions.
Russell Rovers – who lost the 2020 final last summer but then had to win the relegation play-off at the end of the 2021 championship – got off the mark as they beat St Catherine’s by 2-10 to 0-10 in their East Cork derby on Friday night in Killeagh. Brian Hartnett and Jack McGrath had the goals for the Ballycotton/Garryvoe outfit, who had Josh Beausang also in good scoring form.
The other game in that group went the way of Tracton, 2-14 to 0-17 winners over Glen Rovers’ second team in Ballymaw. Daniel Harrington and Mark Byrne netted for the south-east side.