Cork football derby delights on the agenda across the grades

Crucial championship points and bragging rights are up for grabs on an important weekend of round 2 games
Cork football derby delights on the agenda across the grades

Iveleary celebrate their junior county success and now have neighbours Cill na Martra in their sights. Picture: John Tarrant

THERE’S nothing quite like a local derby to stir the blood and it helps make football in all parts, from the city to the county’s extremities.

And no matter what happens in the remainder of the season once the neighbours are put in their place, sure it’s already a successful year.

This will be evident across Cork at the weekend as the second round of games in the Bon Secours county championships are dotted with mouth-watering match-ups.

There are half-a-dozen games slotted into this category.

No 1: Friday, PIFC: Iveleary v Cill na Martra, Macroom, 7.30pm.

What a tasty dish to serve up for a hectic weekend, featuring Muskerry rivals only nine miles apart and the pressure firmly on long-established Cill na Martra.

They simply have to win to remain in the chase for a knock-out spot from Group A after losing to a very strong Nemo Rangers by a point in an opening round thriller, 2-10 to 1-12.

Aways highly competitive in the top tier of the league, Cill na Martra struggle at times to translate that form into the championship and worse still it’s that pesky new bunch from Inchigeelagh blocking their path.

Iveleary’s 4-10 to 0-8 victory over St Vincents, when Conor O’Leary helped himself to a hat-trick, illustrates just how strong the intermediate champions are in the higher grade.

There’s a wealth of attacking power on display from Cathal Vaughan and the Jones pair, Chris Og and Ian, for Iveleary to Dan Dineen and Micheal Desmond for Cill na Martra.

No 2: Saturday: PIFC: Bantry Blues v Castletownbere, Adrigole, 4pm.

There won’t be a fish caught off the coast as the west is gripped by a fascinating tussle between two proud clubs.

And with the pair starting their Group B campaigns with wins, it means the victors are practically assured of advancing.

Bantry squeezed past Aghada with a late scoring burst as Ruairi Deane claimed 1-3 in a 2-11 to 1-9 success with the Coakleys, Arthur and Kevin, also contributing well.

Castletownbere dogged it out against Na Piarsaigh, winning by 0-10 to 0-4 with Gary Murphy top-scoring.

James Harrington and Andrew O’Sullivan are other important figures in what is sure to be a no-holds-barred encounter.

No 3: Saturday: PIFC Kanturk v Rockchapel, Newmarket, 4pm.

A Duhallow derby in Group C will whet the appetite with Kanturk on a mission to atone for last season’s narrow defeat in the final by another set of neighbours, Newmarket.

A 4-13 to 0-9 trouncing of Naomh Abán in round 1 was a big statement as the Walsh clan jealously guarded the scoring.

Brothers Aidan and Tommy chipped in with 1-1 while cousins Alan, Ryan, Paul, Ian and Colin supplied the remainder with Alan netting twice.

Rockchapel also began encouragingly, having a point to spare over Macroom, when both sides had eight different scorers each, including Seamus Hickey and the Curtins, Jack, Cormac and Shane for the Rock.

No 4: Saturday: PIFC: Naomh Aban v Macroom, Cill na Martra, 7pm.

As if the pressure wasn’t already cranked up with those defeats, the Muskerry rivals collide to determine who’ll still have championship aspirations or who’ll be looking over their shoulder.

Fintan Goold spearheads Macroom’s challenge while Maidhc O Duinnin and Donal O Ceallaigh have to lift Naomh Aban.

No 5: Sunday: SAFC Ilen Rovers v O’Donovan Rossa, Castlehaven, 2pm.

A second west Cork showdown carries added significance apart from bragging rights as Ilen must win to stay in the hunt after losing to Clyda Rovers by a point on opening day.

It was a cruel defeat for the side relegated from premier senior last season and what’s more Ilen face bang-in-form Skibbereen, whose confidence will be sky high after their 3-16 to 1-10 win over promoted Newmarket.

Dan MacEoin and Sean O’Donovan carry Ilen’s scoring threat while Kevin Davis, David Shannon, Donal Og Hodnett and Elliott Connolly represent Skibb’s power up top.

No 6: Saturday: IAFC: Millstreet v Boherbue, Cullen, 7pm.

Another Duhallow derby featuring on-the-rise Boherbue against storied opponents who better have strong bouncebackability.

The junior champions pipped Glanmire 1-10 to 0-10 for a great start to Group C, but Millstreet were trounced by Mitchelstown by 19 points.

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