Glen Rovers’ Patrick Horgan is a major doubt for Friday night’s Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC quarter-final against Newtownshandrum, having sustained an injury.
It’s believed that the Cork star is suffering from a knee problem which is likely to rule him out of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh tie, which has a throw-in time of 7.30pm.
This summer, Horgan became the top scorer in inter-county hurling history but was named as a substitute for Cork’s last two championship matches, against Antrim and Galway – the first time in more than a decade that he was not selected to start when available.
In the Glen’s three championship matches to date, against Erin’s Own, Bishopstown and Na Piarsaigh, the 34-year-old has scored 1-33.
Last year, Horgan was sent off in the quarter-final against Imokilly but the Glen came back to win and, having successfully appealed against his suspension, Horgan then scored 1-11 in the 1-17 to 0-18 semi-final win over Sarsfields, a result which sent the Blackpool club into a third successive final.
The Glen-Newtown game kick-starts a busy weekend of hurling action as the knockout stages in the various grades get underway, with the Páirc fittingly hosting its first club games of the campaign. The northsiders lost their opening match to Erin's Own - who went on to secure top seeding and an automatic semi-final place - but bounced back well to see off Bishopstown and Na Piarsaigh, securing second place in the process.
Newtown opened with a victory over Kanturk and, while they lost their second match to reigning champions Midleton, a victory over Douglas in the last match a fortnight ago meant that the Avondhu side secured first place by virtue of a head-to-head tie-break against their city opponents.
Tomorrow, Charleville take on Na Piarsaigh in Mourneabbey in the relegation play-off, a game which has a 2pm start time. Last year, Charleville were also involved in this fixture but overcame Carrigtwohill on a penalty shootout after the sides couldn't be separated over 80 minutes of hurling.
On Sunday, the remaining two semi-final places will be accounted for. At 2pm in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, there is a city derby between St Finbarr's and Douglas. The Barrs are flying high after topping a group that included Blackrock, Sarsfields and Charleville, while their opponents had secured a knockout spot with a game to spare but will have been frustrated with how the Newtown loss meant they missed the opportunity to go for top seeding.
Then at 4pm, Imokilly - who emerged from the divisions and colleges section for the second year in a row - take on Blackrock in a clash of the two most recent champions remaining in the competition.