IAHC: Lisgoold look to reach third consecutive final

East Cork side meet Cloughduv in semi-final as Dungourney meet Sarsfields
IAHC: Lisgoold look to reach third consecutive final

LIsgoold's John Cashman in action against Harbour Rovers in the 2020 Co-op SuperStores Cork JAHC final in August of 2021. Picture: Larry Cummins

LISGOOLD will target a three-in-row as they clash with Cloughduv in the Co-op SuperStores Cork IAHC semi-finals at Riverstown tonight (7.30m).

Winners of the 2020 JAHC in the late summer of last year as they beat Harbour Rovers, the East Cork rode the wave of momentum through the Lower IHC, claiming victory in that as they beat Kilbrittain in the final in November.

The step up to the intermediate A grade hasn’t been outside of their wheelhouse either and they topped their group with wins over Aghada and Blackrock and a draw against Midleton.

While they didn’t earn an automatic semi-final spot, a 0-22 to 0-12 win over Kildorrery brought them to the last four, with the scores coming from Liam O’Shea, Diarmuid Healy and the Cashman brothers, Kieran and John.

Their opponents Cloughduv took one of the top two seedings as they finished top of a group featuring Dungourney, Aghabgullogue and Douglas. Mark and Brian Verling and Steve O’Donoghue are likely to be go-to figures for the mid-Cork men.

On the other side of the draw in the fourth tier, there is an East Cork derby between Sarsfields and Dungourney at 3.30pm tomorrow in Carrigtwohill. 

Sars’ second team, beaten in last year’s final by Castlemartyr, had the best record in the group stages, finishing with a scoring difference of 33 points after seeing off Kildorrery, Mayfield and Meelin. Rory O’Brien and Patrick O’Driscoll have impressed so far for the Riverstown side.

Dungourney finished second to Cloghduv, losing the final-round game after securing qualification with a game to spare, and they edged Midleton by a point at the quarter-final stage thanks to good displays from James Ahern – who scored a crucial late goal – Ryan Denny, Shane Hegarty and Jack Leahy.

At the Premier JHC grade, last year’s beaten finalists Kilbrittain and the 2021 junior A champions Ballygiblin were the two group-toppers who were able to bypass the quarter-finals.

Ballygiblin meet Russell Rovers – the beaten finalists of 2020 – in Ballynoe at 3.30pm tomorrow. Mark Keane, Fionn Herlihy, Shane Beston and Cathail O’Mahony will power the North Cork side’s hopes but their Ballycotton/Shanagarry opponents have responded well after having to contest the relegation play-off in 2021. They beat Argideen Rangers in the quarter-finals and Brian Hartnett and Josh Beausang are prominent scoring threats for the Imokilly side, who have also benefited from strong performances by Kevin Moynihan and Kieran Walsh.

The other semi-final sees Kilbrittain take on Tracton at 4pm in Ballinspittle, a repeat of last year’s meeting at the same venue, where Kilbrittain won to advance to the final.

Philip Wall was outstanding for Kilbrittain as they beat Milford, St Finbarr’s and Barryroe by an aggregate of 25 points and Maurice Sexton, Ross Cashman and Mark Hickey are also likely to be key for them.

Having finished runners-up to Russell Rovers, Tracton edged Milford in the quarter-finals, with veteran Michael O’Sullivan, Ronan Walsh and Paul O’Riordan among their stand-out players.

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