While the name may have changed from lower intermediate, the Co-op SuperStores Premier JHC is still the fifth tier of Cork hurling.
Indeed, there is an extra incentive for the winners as they will now be the ones representing Cork in the Munster junior club championship whereas previously it was the winners of the county junior A going forward.
It means that Ballygiblin, promoted after last year’s heroics, have a chance to do so again and they got off on the right foot last week, recording an impressive 3-22 to 0-11 win over Dripsey in Group B. Next up for the North Cork side is a clash in Blarney at 2pm tomorrow against Ballygarvan, who are coming off the back of a defeat to Argideen Rangers. The game between Argideen and Dripsey takes place at 4pm on Sunday in Brinny.
In Group A, last year’s beaten finalists Kilbrittain began with a win against Milford and their next assignment is a meeting with St Finbarr’s second team, that game set for 2pm on Sunday in Carrigaline. The Barrs drew with Barryroe first time out and Barryroe meet Milford in Coachford at 3pm on Saturday.
Russell Rovers and Tracton lead the way in Group C, having beaten St Catherine’s and Glen Rovers respectively last week. This weekend it’s the battle of the Rovers in Lisgoold at 6pm on Saturday while Tracton take on St Catherine’s at 2pm on Sunday in Blarney.
At intermediate A level, Sarsfields – beaten in the 2021 final by Castlemartyr – showed that they are likely to be in the mix again this year as they were rampant against neighbours Mayfield, whom they overcame in last year’s semi-final.
However, a 16-point win wasn’t enough to leave them top of Group C as Kildorrery had an even bigger win, 18 points to spare in their opener against Meelin.
With the two winners playing the two losers, there is a chance that qualification in this group could be done and dusted by the end of the weekend, with just the placings to be determined in the final round.
Kildorrery take on Mayfield in Saturday’s only game, at 7pm in Watergrasshill, while the Sars-Meelin match is at 2pm Sunday in Mourneabbey.
Lisgoold, winners of the 2020 JAHC and 2021 Lower IHC last summer and autumn, kept up their momentum with a good Group A win against Blackrock and they face Midleton at 2pm in Carrigtwohill while Aghada, who beat the Magpies, face the Rockies at the same time in Cobh.
Both games in Group B are also at 2pm on Sunday. Last week, Dungourney had a resounding win over Douglas while Cloughduv overcame Muskerry rivals Aghabullogue. The second set of fixtures in that section pairs the two winning sides in a green and gold battle in Grenagh, while Douglas and Aghabullogue will have a chance to bounce back when they go head-to-head in Ballyanly.