HOW many clubs will be left standing with a dual mandate after the completion of the qualifying process in the Bon Secours county football championships at the weekend?
We know for certain that one of the two premier seniors will definitely carry on in both hurling and football after St Finbarr’s roared into the hurling quarter-finals.
The footballers had already secured their passage to the knock-out phase before taking on also-qualified Carbery Rangers on Sunday and the ’Barr’s will be chasing top slot to progress directly to the semi-finals, reducing the workload on their dual players.
The likes of Jamie Burns, Billy Hennessy, Ben O’Connor, Ethan Twomey and Brian Hayes helped the hurlers last weekend and now turn their attentions to football, their hectic schedule gathering pace.
And that’s not forgetting the Cahalane brothers, Damien, Conor and Jack, who will be trying to steer Castlehaven to the knock-out stages against Newcestown.
It’s somewhat ironic that the Barrs' quarter-final hurling opponents are Douglas, the other dual club operating at the top level, though they face a big struggle to keep their football season alive.
Even victory over unbeaten and already qualified Mallow mightn’t be enough and are depending on the result of the other game in the group between Valley Rovers and Ballincollig going their way. Douglas have fewer dual players than the Barrs, the likes of Niall Hartnett and the Harte twins, Daniel and Joseph, involved in both.
The city clubs have another similar challenge in that both second teams in hurling are battling to preserve their status, Douglas in IAHC and the ’Barr’s in PJHC, where they await relegation deciders against Meelin and Dripsey respectively.
Blackrock and their football equivalent St Michael’s are also heading in the right direction, the Rockies meeting the favourites Imokilly in the quarter-final of the PSHC while Michael’s look poised to join them in the knock-out phase of the SAFC.
Victory over Bishopstown would also book their place in the semi-finals as one of the best two group winners and lessening the load of dual players like Daniel Meaney, Tadhg Deasy and Robbie Cotter.
Two more PSFC clubs, Carrigaline and Éire Óg, who also have hurling issues to attend to, collide in football where the stakes are massive as both are pointless and desperate to avoid being dragged into the relegation issue.
Carrigaline have a PIHC quarter-final with Castlemartyr to look forward to, but for Eire Og, they do not want a second relegation decider.
Fermoy are another club with both hurling and football on their minds in the second tier, having won all three games in hurling to reach the last four of the SAHC.
And the footballers could also advance in the SAFC though the face a Knocknagree side battling to move off the bottom of Group C, which also involves St Michael’s and the Town. Could the Duhallow club repeat Cloyne’s dramatic surge up the table in SAHC and make the quarter-finals on scoring difference?
IAFC (All 2pm): Group A: Ballydesmond v Adrigole, Inchigeela; Gabriel Rangers v Kilshannig, Kilmichael.
Group B: Glanworth v Kildorrery, Araglen; St Nick’s v Glenville, Pairc Ui Rinn.
Group C: Mitchelstown v Boherbue, Buttevant; Glanmire v Millstreet, Carrigadrohid.
Group D: Aghabullogue v Ballinora, Ovens; St Finbarr’s v Dromtarriffe, Donoughmore.
SAFC (All 7pm): Group A: Clyda Rovers v O’Donovan Rossa, Coachford; Ilen Rovers v Newmarket, Cloughduv.
Group B: Ballingeary v Bandon, Ballinacarriga; Dohenys v Kiskeam, Macroom.
Group C: Knocknagree v Fermoy, Glantane; St Michael’s v Bishopstown, Pairc Ui Rinn.
PIFC (All 2pm): Group A: Nemo Rangers v Iveleary, Bandon; Cill na Martra v St Vincent’s, Coachford.
Group B: Aghada v Castletownbere, Enniskeane; Bantry Blues v Na Piarsaigh, Dunmanway.
Group C: Kanturk v Macroom, Glantane; Naomh Aban v Rockchapel.
PSFC (All 4pm): Group A: St Finbarr’s v Carbery Rangers, Ballinascarthy; Eire Og v Carrigaline, Ballygarvan.
Group B: Douglas v Mallow, Pairc Ui Rinn; Valley Rovers v Ballincollig, Kilmurry.
Group C: Nemo Rangers v Clonakilty, Bandon; Castlehaven v Newcestown, Rossmore.