Cork GAA previews: Douglas-Sarsfields headlines weekend of hurling action

Eoghan Cormican and Denis Hurley preview the weekend's Cork hurling fixtures
Cork GAA previews: Douglas-Sarsfields headlines weekend of hurling action
Brian Turnbull is a doubt for Douglas's game against Sarsfields. Picture: Jim Coughlan

TODAY

Cork PSHC Group A: Sarsfields v Douglas, Páirc Uí Chaoimh (S Stokes), 7.45pm (live on irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa)

It remains to be seen if Douglas will have Brian Turnbull available for this top of the table clash. Turnbull was withdrawn 18 minutes into Douglas’ win over Ballyhea last weekend because of injury. Corner-back Donncha Murphy is another who came away from that win nursing an injury. Whoever comes out on top this evening should advance to the knockout phase. Sars’ young guns - Jack O’Connor, Liam Healy, and Aaron Myers - impressed against Midleton and they will test the frugality of this Douglas defence. Sars claimed the spoils when these two met in last year’s championship.

Verdict: Sarsfields

Group B: Erin’s Own v Bishopstown, Páirc Uí Rinn (M Maher), 2pm

A major boost for Bishopstown was the successful appeal of Ken O’Halloran’s red card on Thursday meaning he is cleared to start in goal this afternoon. Bishopstown did so much right for the opening 45 minutes of last week’s contest, but to what extent have they been affected by their final quarter capitulation remains to be seen. Erin’s Own only showed up in patches against Blackrock and there is far too strong a reliance on Eoghan Murphy and Robbie O’Flynn for scores. This is a must-win fixture for both sides.

Verdict: Bishopstown

Group C: Glen Rovers v Carrigtwohill, Cobh (C O’Regan), 2pm

Robert Downey will be part of the Glen Rovers defence after having his red card from the win over the Barrs rescinded. Fellow defender Stephen McDonnell, though, is an unlikely starter as he continues to overcome a groin injury. Fifteen points was the difference when these two teams met in last year’s county semi-final and while we don’t expect the Glen to run up a similar winning margin here, the manner of their 14-point win last weekend suggests they will be very hard stopped.

Verdict: Glen Rovers SAHC

Group A: Newcestown v Kanturk, Coachford (B Sweeney), 4pm

For two dual-heavy clubs who would have had plenty of lads playing football on the opening weekend of county championship action, both sides turned in fine performances last weekend as the hurling championship got underway. Kanturk’s Lorcan O’Neill, young Brian O’Sullivan, Lorcán McLoughlin, and Aidan Walsh will be keen to replicate their impressive displays during last week’s 12-point dismissal of Cloyne.

Verdict: Kanturk

Group B: Charleville v Mallow, Kilbrin (C Lane), 5pm

For Charleville, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Jack Doyle, Mark Kavanagh, Darren Casey, and Gavin Kelleher will hope to pick up where they left off following their 13-point Round 1 win over Bandon. Mallow will find it very difficult to reach the knockout stages if they fall to a second defeat in Kilbrin.

Verdict: Charleville

Group B: Bandon v Fermoy, Páirc Uí Rinn (D Daly), 5.30pm

Have Bandon been able to pick themselves up following last week’s heavy beating? In their way stands a Fermoy side led by David Lardner, Kieran Morrison, Shane Aherne, Michael Brennan, and Brian O’Sullivan.

Verdict: Fermoy.

Group C: Ballymartle v Kilworth, Grenagh (T O’Donovan), 4pm

Both sides suffered fairly comprehensive defeats last week and know they must reverse their fortunes here. Ballymartle had only three scorers when falling to Bride Rovers. They can’t afford a repeat of that. If Kilowrth can build on their encouraging first-half showing against Fr O’Neill’s, they might cause an upset.

Verdict: Ballymartle 

PIHC Group A: Carrigaline v Aghada, Cobh (P Lyons), 5pm

Another top of the table fixture. Carrigaline will focus their defensive efforts on William Leahy and John Looney seeing as this pair accounted for 1-15 of Aghada’s 1-19 last weekend. Carrigaline had eight different scorers last weekend, this octet hitting 0-19 from play. Might their greater balance in the opposition half of the field prove the difference?

Verdict: Carrigaline

Group A: Courcey Rovers v Youghal, Ovens (J Larkin), 6.30pm

Having both come up short last weekend, this has a last chance saloon feel to it. Courceys were off the pace for most of their defeat to Carrigaline. But for losing a man to a red card in the final quarter, Youghal may have got something from their game against Aghada.

Verdict: Youghal

Group B: Ballinhassig v Watergrasshill, Inniscarra (C Dineen), 4pm

Two teams who’ll be brimming with confidence after their respective opening round wins. Shane O’Regan is the standout name in the Watergrasshill attack and while of course Ballinhassig will look to curtail him, they’ll also be similarly mindful of Séan Desmond who hit 1-3 from play last week.

Verdict: Ballinhassig

Group B: Valley Rovers v Ballincollig, Cloughduv (N O’Neill), 5pm

Another win-or-bust fixture given both sides came away pointless from their opening-round game. Chris O’Leary, Colm Butler, and John Cottrell are the players Valley Rovers will look to get their campaign back on track. Ballincollig must park the obvious and sizable disappointment of letting victory slip from their grasp last weekend.

Verdict: Valley Rovers

Group C: Blarney v Castlelyons, Mourneabbey (A O’Connor), 6pm  (live on irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa)

Arguably the standout performance of last weekend was Cork corner-back Colm Spillane’s 1-7 from play from centre-forward as Castlelyons eased past Blackrock’s second team. You’d imagine Spillane will be picked up by Cork teammate Mark Coleman. Blarney’s emerging talents - Pádraig Power and Shane Barrett - were front and centre in the win over Inniscarra. They get the nod.

Verdict: Blarney

TOMORROW

Premier SHC Group B: Blackrock v Newtownshandrum, Mallow, 2pm (C Lyons)

Blackrock started well against Erin’s Own before wobbling but still came out on top while Newtown produced an immense late surge to off Bishopstown. While Michael O’Halloran is a loss from the Rockies’ attack, they can still call on Alan Connolly, Ciarán Cormack and Stephen Murphy in midfield. Dermot McCarthy, Jack Twomey and Jamie Coughlan were key in Newtown’s turnaround, with Cork star Tim O’Mahony getting the winning point.

Verdict: Blackrock

Group C: St Finbarr’s v Na Piarsaigh, Páirc Uí Rinn, 2pm (D Copps)

Little margin for error for the Barrs after the loss to Glen Rovers but Na Piarsaigh’s draw with Carrigtwohill means that they are in severe need of a win as well. Evan Sheehan, Shane Forde and Daire Connery are the leading lights in the Piarsaigh attack. The Barrs will need to improve after giving up 3-20 to the Glen. Damien and Conor Cahalane will play big parts along with Bill Beckett and Eoghan Finn.

Verdict: Na Piarsaigh

SAHC Group A: Killeagh v Cloyne, Midleton, 2pm (B Murphy)

Killeagh faded against Newcestown but could take solace from displays of Eoghan Keniry, Ryan McCarthy and midfielder Seán Long. Cloyne, beaten by Kanturk by 12 points, will look to Paudie O’Sullivan and Mikey Cahill.

Verdict: Killeagh

Premier IHC Group C: Inniscarra v Blackrock, Ballinora, 7pm (J Larkin)

Both lost heavily last week, Inniscarra to Blarney and Blackrock to Castlelyons. Fergal O’Leary and Seán O’Donoghue will lead Scarra while the Rockies’ second team had good displays from Eoin O’Farrell and Peter Lenighan.

Verdict: Inniscarra

IAHC Group A: Argideen Rangers v Kildorrery, Donoughmore, 2pm (L Barry)

Argideen, who lost to Dungourney, will need to give John Michael O’Callaghan more assistance on the scoring front. If Finbarr Butler, who missed that loss, were to return it would be a boost. Kildorrery had strong input from Peter O’Brien, Finbarr Stapleton and James McEniry as they edged past Mayfield.

Verdict: Kildorrery

Group A: Mayfield v Dungourney, Lisgoold, 2pm (J Murphy)

Dungourney spread the scorers against Argideen, Ryan Denny and Bill Ahern leading the way. David O’Neill led for Mayfield against Kildorrery with his dead-ball accuracy while Shane Kelly can also have a big influence.

Verdict: Dungourney

Group B: Sarsfields v Meelin, Glantane, 2pm (M Walsh)

Win or bust for these sides after opening-round losses. Ben Graham notched 1-7 of Sars’ 2-9 in the defeat to Éire Óg while, in the absence of the injured Eamonn Brosnan, John Forrest took on the mantle of Meelin scorer-in-chief against Douglas.

Verdict: Sarsfields

Group B: Éire Óg v Douglas, Ballincollig, 2pm (S Scanlon)

Both sides won last week and this game should go a long way towards determining who tops the group. Conor Russell and Richie Murphy shone for Douglas against Meelin and their biggest challenge is loss of players to their senior team. Kevin Hallissey, Eoin O’Shea and goalkeeper Dylan Desmond were instrumental as Éire Óg beat Sarsfields.

Verdict: Douglas

Group C: Aghabullogue v Glen Rovers, Blarney, 2pm (P O’Driscoll)

Aghabullogue were rampant in their win over Cloughduv, thanks largely to the attacking impact of Shane Tarrant and Matthew Bradley. The Glen fell to Midleton, but they have key players with senior experience such as Evan O’Connell and Paul Virgo.

Verdict: Aghabullogue

Group C: Cloughduv v Midleton, Carraig na bhFear, 7pm (J Horgan) Cloughduv only had three scorers – Mark Walsh, Brian Verling, and Aidan Murphy – as they lost by 11 points to Aghabullogu. That will have to improve.

Verdict: Midleton

Lower IHC Group A: Barryroe v Ballygarvan, Ballinspittle, 2pm (C Ó Mocháin) Verdict: Ballygarvan

Group A: Kilbrittain v Russell Rovers, Carrigaline, 4pm (J McEvoy) Verdict: Russell Rovers

Group B: Castlemartyr v Milford, Mourneabbey, 4pm (C Egan) Verdict: Castlemartyr

Group B: St Finbarr’s v Ballymartle, Ballinhassig, 7pm (A Barry) Verdict: St Finbarr’s

Group C: Tracton v Dripsey, Passage, 2pm (A Coleman) Verdict: Tracton

Group C: St Catherine’s v Grenagh, Rathcormac, 4pm (A Hyland) Verdict: St Catherine’s

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