Champions Rosscarbery headline attractive West Cork derby double-header

Cork’s GAA previews, all in one place.
Champions Rosscarbery headline attractive West Cork derby double-header

Today

Cork Premier IFC first rd: Bantry Blues v St Vincent’s, Enniskeane, 4.30pm

Originally scheduled for two weeks ago, this game was put back due to the funeral of former Bantry star Michael Moran.

The West Cork side are missing Stephen Coughlan, who is in Australia, but they can call upon Ruairí Deane, arguably Cork’s most impressive performer in the national league, while Seán O’Leary and Tim Foley were on the U21 panel and Kevin Coakley and Eoghan Minihane are part of the minor set-up.

St Vincent’s ended up as one of the bottom two last year and need to win a game in this championship. Goalkeeper Patrick O’Shea, John Paul Murphy, Daniel Duggan, and Kyle Lynch are all integral.

Verdict: Bantry Blues

Cork IFC first round: Douglas v Glanworth, Watergrasshill, 4pm

A spate of injuries to the senior panel have hampered Douglas, who will look to Eoghan O’Brien and Colin O’Mahony, among others. Mikie Sheehan, Ross Murphy, and Diarmuid Colfer are key in attack for Glanworth but Pierre O’Driscoll, Seán Finn, Chris Quirke, and Michael Pierce are out while David Pyne is just back from Canada and is unlikely to start.

Verdict: Glanworth

Cork IHC preliminary round: Sarsfields v Dungourney, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6.15pm

Sars lost to Mayfield in last year’s JAHC final, but were still promoted. Former senior star Joe Barry provides experience, Ray Ryan could also feature and Aaron Myers and Ronan Murphy are others who could shine, but Shane Quinn has returned to home club Kinvara in Galway. Dungourney were quarter-finalists last year and Ryan Denny will be their primary scoring threat while Shane Hegarty and Niall Motherway will also bring their influence to bear.

Verdict: Dungourney

Cork IHC first round: Kilbrittain v Castlemartyr, Páirc Uí Rinn, 8pm

Peter Brennan, who guided Kilbrittain to the 2011 Premier IHC semi-finals, is back in charge and they will look to Ross Cashman, David Desmond, and Maurice Sexton though Conor Moloney is injured, while they will hope that Chris Hickey and Tom Harrington are passed fit.

Castlemartyr are missing Barry Lawton, who is in Australia, but can still call on his brother, Cork senior panellist Brian. The Ó Tuama brothers, Barra and Brian, are also key, along with Cian Haines and experienced goalkeeper Jimmy Smiddy, though the latter’s brother Brian is unavailable.

Verdict: Castlemartyr

Tomorrow

Cork SFC first round:

Ilen Rovers v Carbery, Castlehaven, 2.15pm

The league has not gone well for Ilen, with one win from six games to date. They possess a potent attack featuring Dan Mac Eoin and Stephen Leonard, though Kevin O’Sullivan is away on honeymoon. Conor O’Driscoll, David Coughlan, Alan Holland and Tom Bushe are also likely to be central figures for the Baltimore/Church Cross outfit.

Divisional side Carbery, with Gene O’Driscoll back in charge, have been hampered in terms of preparation opportunities, but don’t lack for big names. Cork players Ruairí Deane and Colm, Kevin and fit-again Brian O’Driscoll, as well as Graham Canty and Alan O’Connor, will ensure that they have quality all over the field.

Verdict: Carbery

Cork SFC first round: Carbery Rangers v Clonakilty, Castlehaven, 4pm

Last year’s champions Carbery Rangers are without injured goalkeeper Paul Shanahan, Gearóid O’Brien and Mike O’Donovan, with David O’Donovan, Cian Daly, and Cathal O’Rourke the new faces on the panel. John and Séamus Hayes provide the scoring power, while Cork senior John O’Rourke, county U21 Jerry O’Riordan, and Tipperary star Robbie Kiely will be important in terms of supply, with James Fitzpatrick and Chris O’Donovan likely to be influential too.

The Rosscarbery club are third in the table, two points ahead of Clonakilty, who must plan without injured Cork panellist Seán White as well as Ross Mannix. Tom Clancy has benefited from an injury-free spring with Cork and will be a key leader, with a youthful side benefiting from the presence of David Lowney, Seán McEvoy, and Jack O’Mahony.

Verdict: Carbery Rangers

Cork Premier IFC first round: Naomh Abán v Macroom, Cill na Martra, 3.30pm

A Muskerry derby between two clubs who reached the quarter-finals last year. The evergreen Micheál Ó Cróinín remains the go-to man for Naomh Abán, and the Baile Bhúirne side also have strong performers in Colm de hÍde, Shane Mac Cárthaigh and Diarmuid Ó Ceochain.

Seánacháin Ó hUidhir and Liam Mac Suibhne have retired though, with Séamus Ó Riada and Tomás Ó hAilíosa injured. The Goold brothers, Fintan and David, are instrumental for Macroom, as are Seán Kiely, Johnny Murphy, and David Horgan.

Verdict: Macroom

Cork Premier IHC first round: Watergrasshill v Blarney, Páirc Uí Rinn, 2pm

Blarney endured a difficult 2016 campaign, losing to Courcey Rovers in a relegation play-off. Mark Coleman has had a great spring for Cork and will carry a lot of the scoring burden here, aided by Ray Murphy and John Daniel Good, while Joe Jordan is a very experienced presence at centre-back.

Danny Whyte is a new addition. Shane O’Regan is likely to be the Watergrasshill scorer-in-chief, with Paddy O’Regan, Seán O’Callaghan, Aidan Foley, and Dylan McCarthy driving their effort too.

Verdict: Watergrasshill

Cork Premier IHC first rd: Kanturk v Castlelyons, Castletownroche, 3.30pm

Cork footballer Aidan Walsh misses out for Kanturk after sustaining a shoulder injury in last week’s football championship game. They can of course still call on county hurlers Anthony Nash and Lorcán McLoughlin, while Darren Browne, Jerome Walsh, Lorcan O’Neill, and John McLoughlin also provide strength.

Ciarán McGann, an All-Ireland winner with Cork, is back for Castlelyons after injury and Colm Barry and Jamie O’Leary are key in defence. Current Cork star Colm Spillane will also be influential while his brothers Anthony and Michael will feature heavily in attack along with Alan Fenton.

Verdict: Castlelyons

Cork Premier IHC first rd: Charleville v Fr O’Neills, Páirc Uí Rinn, 3.45pm

A repeat of the IHC semi-final in 2015 which Charleville won before going on to take the title, with O’Neills succeeding them as champions last year. Cork’s Darragh Fitzgibbon is part of a strong Charleville attack where Mark Kavanagh, Andrew Cagney, and James O’Brien can post large totals and Danny O’Flynn is strong at midfield.

For Fr O’Neills, Declan Dalton’s dead-ball accuracy ensures that any indiscretions are punished and Billy Dunne, Eoin Conway, Tomás Millerick, and Paudie McMahon will be important too.

Verdict: Charleville Cork Premier IHC first rd: Kilworth v Fermoy, Ballyhooly, 3.30pm

Last year’s beaten finalists Fermoy will need to be at their best against their neighbours but they still have a strong team, with Liam Coleman, David Geary, Kieran Morrison, Brian O’Sullivan, and Pádraig de Róiste ensuring a strong balance around the field.

Noel McNamara and Noel O’Brien were regularly among the Kilworth sharpshooters last year, and Jeremy Saich and Eoin McGrath are capable of getting on the scoresheet too.

Verdict: Fermoy

Cork IHC preliminary round, Midleton v Grenagh, Caherlag, 3pm

Tom Kenny remains a central figure for Grenagh, ably assisted by Seán Bourke, Ultan Duggan, and Séamus Cronin. Cormac Beausang, Michéal Keohane, and Pádraic Nagle have been among Midleton’s brightest performers in the league.

Verdict: Grenagh

Carbery U21FC final, Castlehaven v Dohenys, Aughavilla, 7.30pm

The Haven romped to victory against Newcestown last week but will wait on the fitness of Cork star Michael Hurley, who went off injured. Conor Nolan and Cathal Maguire will be key, while Dohenys had Eoin Lavers, Seán Daly, and Mark Buckley on the Cork panel.

Verdict: Dohenys

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