Owing to the restructured nature of this year’s Harty Cup, St Coman’s and Midleton are the only two teams in Group E and, irrespective of today’s result, both are guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages.
For the victors, there is the bonus of avoiding all other group winners in the round of 16.
St Colman’s fell to Ardscoil Rís by the minimum in last year’s semi-final, with seven of that team expected to feature. Included is 2016 Cork minor captain Niall O’Leary. Glanworth’s Stephen Condon was the team’s top-scorer during their run to the semis back in January and while he is still a pupil at St Colman’s, he is one of three players over age to line out.
“It in unfortunate for these lads that they cannot play and then Jamie O’Leary is injured,” said Flannan Cleary.
“The lads have put in a good effort at the start of the year, but there has been an awful lot of club action.
“Castlelyons made progress in the minor hurling championship, while Fermoy were playing minor football up to last weekend. We’ve had a certain amount of disruption to preparations given the success of the various clubs.
“But, by the same token, it’s good that they’ve been getting lots of competitive games.”
Their opponents, who are largely pulling from the all-conquering Dean Ryan Cup class of 2014, for whom Liam Gosnell and Chris Power were key players, should prove a difficult roadblock to negotiate.
“They won the Dean Ryan Cup two years ago. We know we are up against formidable opposition. We ourselves have recently qualified for the Dean Ryan Cup final against Thurles CBS and there are a few lads from that team who are part of our Harty panel. It has been a good number of years since we were in a Dean Ryan Cup final.”
Elsewhere, Nenagh CBS yesterday scored a 1-22 to 2-16 extra-time win over Abbey CBS in group H, while in group F, Our Lady’s Templemore overcame St Flannan’s 1-23 to 1-12.