Heffernan can inspire dark horses Mallow


Premier IHC: Mallow v Newcestown, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6pm.

NEWCESTOWN, first round winners over Ballyhea, have lost Aidan O’Sullivan, who has gone to the US, and he’ll be a huge loss. However, John Crowley, who missed that game because of a broken hand, is available.

Regulars Charlie Wilson, Kevin Long, John Wilson and Jim O’Sullivan are all fit but the West Cork side will have to be at their very best.

Mallow beat Ballincollig in their opening game and did it with such conviction they could be the dark horses of the championship.

The inclusion of former Limerick senior Pat Heffernan has given them great strength in attack and when you add in the Riordan brothers Tadgh, Cian and Pa, Brian Carey and Fergal McCormack, this Mallow side has the potential to go all the way.

Verdict: Mallow win.

Premier IHC: Tracton v Youghal, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.30.

TRACTON will be without Billy Lynch who is serving a one-match ban. The Minane Bridge side looked a very accomplished outfit in disposing of Carrigtwohill in round one, in a game where the superb free-taking of Ronan Walsh was the principal feature.

Only goalkeeper Martin Quinn and Patrick O’Reilly are left from the side which won the title in 1992, but the youngsters have maintained the club’s great tradition. If Fergal and Kieran Lynch, Frank and Ronan Walsh and Sean O’Sullivan play to form, Tracton could stay in the title race.

Youghal, who surprised Iniscarra in the first round, have Miceal Ó Laocha back from suspension, along with John Grace and Brendan Ring, who were both injured for that game. Their availability will strengthen their challenge considerably. Killian Coleman, his brother Brendan and county minor Lee Desmond, currently sitting his leaving certificate, will all start but a lack of preparation may cost them.

Verdict: Tracton win.

IHC: Dromina v Ballygarvan, Castletownroche, 3.30pm.

BALLYGARVAN are finding it difficult at this level despite excellent performances from Stephen White, Joe and Ger Spillane, and are unlikely to get anything soft from the North Cork side who looked impressive in their first round win over Fr O’Neill’s.

Long-serving Ger Buckley has gone back to goal and his vast experience has been crucial. The O’Shaughnessy brothers Donal, James and Andrew, along with another seasoned campaigner Liam Hayes, should ensure Dromina stay on course for round three.

Verdict: Dromina win.

IHC: Nemo Rangers v Fr. O’Neills, Cobh, 3pm.

THESE are busy times for Nemo. Three championship games (two football) in eight days speaks volumes for their commitment to both codes. Glen Rovers beat them in round one of this championship but not before the Capwell side made a massive effort to claim the spoils. Senior footballers Martin Cronin, David Niblock and JP O’Neill showed in that game that they are also talented hurlers. O’Neills were ousted by Dromina in round one on a night when they played poorly, and will have to improve greatly if they are not to suffer a similar fate.

Verdict: Nemo win.

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