THE draws for the Muskerry championships took place recently in Coachford.
The competition will run parallel with the Cork county championships with the first matches in junior A football scheduled for the last weekend in July while the junior A hurling is down for the first weekend in August.
Starting with junior A football, there will be new winners in 2023 following Kilmurry’s elevation winning the divisional and county championships in 2022.
The team Kilmurry beat in the Muskerry final last year, which secured their promotion to the new premier junior grade, were Aghinagh and the 2021 winners will be one of the teams fancied to lift the silverware this year.
The Rusheen-based team are in group three alongside second teams Éire Óg and Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh with Clondrohid making up the group. Aghinagh would have been a tad disappointed with how the decider panned out against Kilmurry last year, with the team in blue and white not able to reach their normal standards on that particular day in Coachford.
Éire Óg’s second team should be strong, with a nice blend of youth and experience. Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh’s second string failed to win a championship game last year and they will be eager to right the wrongs.
Clondrohid have the ability to be a surprise package and they will be determined to finish in the top two.
Canovee, narrowly defeated by rivals Kilmurry in the semi-final last year will be another team expected to challenge for divisional silverware this campaign. The Carrigadrohid side are in group two with Ballincollig’s reserves, Kilmichael and Dripsey.
Ballincollig will feel they should won against Aghinagh in the quarter-final last year and they are certainly a team that have the potential to go a long way. Kilmichael reached the last eight in 2022 and will be eying up a place in the knockout stages again, but it will be difficult.
Dripsey endured a tough campaign last year and will be determined that this season doesn’t go along the same lines.
In group one, Inniscarra lost a cracking semi-final after extra time against Aghinagh last year and they will be expected to reach the business end. Scarra will be up against Grenagh, Blarney and Donoughmore.
Grenagh reached the semi-final last term and will be hoping to push on. Blarney won the Muskerry JBFC last year and would go on the win the county. It will be interesting how they get on. Donoughmore have failed to make inroads in recent years, will this season be different?
Moving onto junior A hurling, Ballinora are going for a third consecutive Muskerry title, and it is no surprise they are favourites to lift the silverware. They are in group one alongside second teams Inniscarra and Ballincollig with Kilmichael making up the group.
2020 winners Inniscarra will be tipped to go a long way once again, while Ballincollig and Kilmichael will be looking for improvement on the previous season.
In group two, Dripsey are back in the Muskerry JAHC for the first time since winning the Mid-Cork back in 2008. Dripsey are in a group of three with second teams Blarney and Cloughduv, with both teams always tricky customers on their day.
In group three, another group of three teams, beaten finalists Grenagh hoping to atone for last year’s heartbreak are pitted against Éire Óg’s reserves, who reached the semi-final in 2022 and Donoughmore, who are aiming to improve having failed to progress out of the group last campaign.
The draws for the other grades in junior were made, and they are in full below, with the meeting of Dripsey and Inniscarra in junior C football standing out, a mouth-watering prospect and a game that should draw a large crowd.
Inniscarra, Grenagh, Blarney, Donoughmore.
Canovee, Ballincollig, Kilmichael, Dripsey.
Aghinagh, Éire Óg, Clondrohid, Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh.
Kilmurry v Canovee, Ballinora v Aghabullogue, Donoughmore v Inniscarra, Naomh Abán v Iveleary, Macroom v Ballincollig, Cill na Martra v Éire Óg, Gleann na Laoi v Aghinagh.
Dripsey v Inniscarra, Kilmichael v Grenagh, Naomh Abán v Ballincollig, Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh v Blarney, Clondrohid have received a bye.
Ballinora, Inniscarra, Kilmichael, Ballincollig.
Dripsey, Blarney, Cloughduv.
Grenagh, Éire Óg, Donoughmore.
Inniscarra v Grenagh, Iveleary v Laochra Óg, Ballinora v Gleann na Laoi, Blarney v Aghabullogue, Donoughmore v Ballincollig, Éire Óg have received a bye.