Rebel Óg minor hurling previews: No room for error with semi-finals up for grabs

Rory Noonan previews the last round matches in the Premier 1 and Premier 2 grades
Rebel Óg minor hurling previews: No room for error with semi-finals up for grabs

Sarsfields' Jack Huggins is tackled by Midleton's Carthaig Cronin during the Rebel Óg Premier 1 MHC at Riverstown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

AS we head into the final group games in the Premier 1 and 2 minor hurling championships it is still all to play for.

One side hoping to have luck on their side is Ballincollig who will host Fermoy tonight.

For the second time in three years, Collig’s footballers lost out on a semi-final spot last weekend with their defeat by Bishopstown seeing them out.

It is possible something similar could happen to their hurlers tonight, depending on the results of the two games in their group.

The other tie sees Douglas at home to Na Piarsaigh, with both sides and the Village still capable of going through.

Douglas top the group on four points with Ballincollig and Na Piarsaigh on two points.

Wins for Douglas and Ballincollig would put both through.

However, if Na Piarsaigh beat Douglas and Ballincollig beat Fermoy then all three will be on four points and it will come down to scoring difference, with three teams involved.

So, despite topping the group, Douglas can’t afford to slip up if they are to join their footballers, who have qualified for their semi-final in a few weeks.Na Piarsaigh recovered from their first-round loss to Ballincollig to beat Fermoy, which put them back in contention for the semis. They would have been considered one of the favourites for overall honours having won the U16 Premier 1 championship last season.

 Luke Greaney, Na Piarsaigh, tackled by Luke Harris and Ben O'Connell, Ballincollig. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Luke Greaney, Na Piarsaigh, tackled by Luke Harris and Ben O'Connell, Ballincollig. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

They certainly won’t fear travelling to Douglas and it will take a massive effort from the home side to get the better of the visitors. Douglas started with a good win over Fermoy and then got the better of Ballincollig, who will look back on their wide count in that encounter if they don’t go through.

They had their chances to beat Douglas, but they can’t afford to think about that tonight against Fermoy and all they can do is try and win first and then put up as high a score as they can.

In the other group, a win for Valley Rovers over Midleton will secure top spot, but a Magpies’ victory win for the Magpies could lead to a similar situation, pending on the result of the Sarsfields v Glen Rovers game.

Midleton's Luca Brodkorb wins the sliotar from Sarsfields' Darragh O'Callaghan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Midleton's Luca Brodkorb wins the sliotar from Sarsfields' Darragh O'Callaghan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

If Glen and Midleton win they will join Valleys on four points and the same rules will apply here. However wins for Valleys and Glen will see them go through, with the latter the current title holders.

In the Premier 2 championship, in section one, wins for Aghada and St Finbarr’s will see them advance to the knock-out stages. They are at home to Ballinhassig and Carrigtwohill respectively and it should be two home wins. However, if Carrig manage to beat the Barrs then they would go through instead of the Togher side. So there is still plenty to play for.

Killeagh top section two and they are at home to Inniscarra tonight, with the visitors knowing a win would put them in contention for the knockout stages. Erin’s Own will be expected to beat Bishopstown and they will also be hoping Killeagh win as that would see the two East Cork sides advance.

Section three also has a number of permutations, but wins for Shandrum and Bride Rovers will see them through. The latter is home to Mallow and it would be a surprise to see anything other than a home win, which will put them on four points.

Shandrum are home to St Catherine’s and the same applies here, a home win will be expected.

With six teams to qualify, the top two across the three sections on scoring difference go straight to the semi, with the others then going into quarter-finals to see who joins them.

FIXTURES

Tonight, 7pm

Premier 1 MHC: Ballincollig v Fermoy; Douglas v Na Piarsaigh; Midleton v Valley Rovers; Sarsfields v Glen Rovers.

Premier 2 MHC: Aghada v Ballinhassig; St Finbarr’s v Carrigtwohill; Killeagh v Inniscarra; Bishopstown v Erins Own; Bride Rovers v Mallow; Shandrum v St Catherines.

Mid-South Region Division 1 MHC: Blarney v Carrigaline; Eire Og v Grenagh.

North Region Division 1 MHC: Ballyhea v Kilworth Araglen Og, Charleville v Dromtaffiffe, both 7.30pm.

North Region Division 2 MHC: Millstreet v St Marks; Croke Rovers v Kanturk; Kilshannig v Liscarroll/Churchtown Gaels, all 7.30pm

North Region Division 3 MHC: Kildorrery v Newmarket, 7.30pm.

East Region Division 1 MHC: Cobh v Nemo Rangers; Watergrasshill v Kiltha Og; Blackrock v Youghal.

East Region Division 2 MHC: Lisgoold v Mayfield; St Colmans v St Colmcilles; Whitechurch v Killavullen.

West Region Division 1 MHC: Bandon v Courcey Rovers; Cill Mochomog v Kilbrittain.

West Region Division 2 MHC: Ahan Gaels v Newcestown, Ibane Gaels v Sliabh Rua; Clonakilty v Owen Gaels, 7.30pm.

West Region Division 3 MHC: Laochra Og v Lee Gaels; Ross Gabriels v Sam Maguires.

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