Ilen to call the tune against Rossas

ALL SFC: Tomorrow: Ilen Rovers v O’Donovan Rossa: Castlehaven, 3.30 p.m.

FROM a position of favourites to reach the third round, Ilen Rovers now find themselves on the verge of going out of the championship.

They totally under-estimated St. Nicks in the first round. The Rovers were shaping up as likely winners from early in that game and were playing out time, leading by two points, only to be caught at the death by a dramatic winning goal.

To their credit they have picked themselves up and looked in fine shape when giving Douglas a bit of a trimming in a challenge game last Sunday. Local derbies are a bit of a lottery and they don’t come any more local than this game.

Rossas were surprisingly beaten by Naomh Aban in round one and won’t want to bow the knee to their neighbours. Apart from a place in round three, bragging rights around Skibbereen are also at stake with the result the Castlehaven venue should be packed to capacity for what promises to be a cracking match.

Verdict: An Ilen Rovers win.

Nemo Rangers v Mallow: Fermoy, 3.30 p.m.

CHAMPIONS Nemo are concerned about the fitness of Derek Kavanagh and James Masters. Kavanagh has a hamstring injury and is unlikely to play, while Masters is struggling with a knee injury even though he played in the IHC last weekend.

After being shocked by Ballincollig in round one, Nemo cannot afford to take anything for granted against the North Cork club who were well beaten by Douglas in their opening game.

Mallow were within minutes of reaching the 2004 county final but have since struggled to reach that level of performance after losing a number of experienced players. If Masters and Kavanagh don’t play the odds on a Nemo victory will be shortened considerably.

With the season over for the laosers, expect Mallow to have a right cut off it, but Nemo’s strength in depth should ease them through.

Verdict: A Nemo win.

Duhallow v Muskerry: Macroom, 3.30 p.m.

DUHALLOW are one of the few divisions to take the senior championship seriously. Under new coach Ned English, they have played a host of games over the border against Kerry teams and their victory over CIT last weekend will have them in the right frame of mind.

After being held to a draw by Beara in the first round, Muskerry had a facile victory over the West Cork side in the replay which prompted coach Gary McPolin to come up with a novel idea to accommodate the divisions in the championship.

McPolin suggests that the divisions should play off together over one weekend with the two going forward.

Muskerry, beaten in last year’s final by Nemo, looked a useful outfit in their previous outing. Backboned by players from intermediate clubs Macroom, Cill na Martra and Ballingeary, along with Canovee, Grenagh and Aghabullogue, the talent is there to enjoy another extended run.

Verdict: a Duhallow win.

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