Cork U20 success means further delay to county finals

The 2020 Cork Premier SFC final, Intermediate A football final, and Lower Intermediate hurling decider were all provisionally fixed for the weekend of August 7/8
Cork U20 success means further delay to county finals

Cork U20 centre-back Ciaran Joyce is as pivotal to the Castlemartyr team waiting to play Russell Rovers in the delayed Lower Intermediate final. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Cork’s progress to the All-Ireland U20 hurling final on the weekend of August 7/8 means three of the outstanding Cork county finals from last year have been pushed back to the weekend of August 14/15.

The 2020 Cork Premier SFC final, Intermediate A football final, and Lower Intermediate hurling decider were all provisionally fixed for the weekend of August 7/8, but have now been pushed back by one week because of Cork’s latest underage Munster title win.

The Nemo Rangers-Castlehaven senior football decider goes back a week on account of Jack Cahalane’s involvement with the U20 hurlers; Cork U20 centre-back Ciaran Joyce is as pivotal to the Castlemartyr team waiting to play Russell Rovers in the delayed Lower Intermediate final as he is the county U20s, while Wednesday’s Munster final man of the match Darragh Flynn plays his club football with Intermediate A finalists Mitchelstown.

Jack Cahalane’s dual status means that should the Cork U20 footballers overcome Offaly in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final and reach the All-Ireland final on the weekend of August 14/15, then the Castlehaven-Nemo Rangers fixture will be shoved out to the weekend of August 21/22.

Of course, his brothers’ involvement with Kieran Kingston’s senior hurling panel means the delayed county senior football final could be pushed out to as late as the final weekend of next month - August 28/29 - were the Cork hurlers to weave a path all the way to the All-Ireland final on August 22.

The 2021 Cork football Championships are scheduled to begin on the same weekend as the All-Ireland hurling final, but Cork county board vice-chairman Pat Horgan has said there is room in their master fixture plan to delay by a week the start of this year’s football championship.

The 2020 Cork Intermediate A hurling final between Aghabullogue and Éire Óg will be played as scheduled on Saturday, August 7, irrespective of how the Cork U20 footballers fare this weekend. Cork U20 football corner-back Conor McGoldrick is a member of the Éire Óg intermediate hurling panel, but there has been confirmation that this outstanding county final will go ahead as planned on the weekend between the All-Ireland U20 semi-finals and finals.

The 2020 Premier Intermediate football final between Kanturk and Knocknagree takes place this Sunday (Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 7pm), with seven League finals also down for decision this weekend.

Meanwhile, victorious Cork U20 hurling captain Cormac O’Brien has said the team had “every bit of faith in themselves” that they could withstand Limerick’s late charge during Wednesday’s provincial final. A help too was the number of survivors from last year’s campaign - namely Ciaran Joyce, Daire O’Leary, Sam Quirke, Brian O’Sullivan, Darragh Flynn, Padraig Power, Jack Cahalane, Brian Hayes, and O’Brien himself - who had seen action during similarly hard-earned Munster championship wins against Limerick and Tipperary.

“It was a bit nervous towards the end, but we had every bit of faith in ourselves that we could get over the line. We know what we are capable of and we have been in this situation before, a couple of us played last year and we know what it is like. It paid dividends to us in that we were able to finish out the game so strongly.

“Our bench is very strong. We have faith in all the boys that they can come on and do a job. There were boys who didn't make the matchday 24 who are more than capable, as well, of coming on and doing a job for us.

“We are looking forward to the All-Ireland final. Galway are obviously a great side, but we'll focus on ourselves and we'll drive it on for the next day.”

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