It was a premature act to put away the calculator after last weekend’s group stage conclusion to the various Cork hurling championships as there are permutations aplenty with this weekend’s final round of football group games in the county.
Of the 52 teams involved across the Premier Senior, Senior A, Premier Intermediate, and Intermediate A football championship grades in Cork, 42 are still in the hunt for a place in the knockout phase.
Here, we take a look at the top three grades and spell out who needs to do what, and by how much, to be alive in the championship come Sunday evening.
Douglas currently sit first in the group, but they could find themselves demoted to third come close of business on Sunday if they fall to Nemo for a third consecutive season. If Douglas do lose and Valley Rovers overcome winless Carrigaline, wiping out the 10-point score difference that Douglas have over Valley Rovers at present, the Valleys go through. Unless Carrigaline score a surprise victory over Valley Rovers, Nemo will need to come out on top at Páirc Uí Rinn to keep alive their three-in-a-row bid.
No matter what scorelines emerge from Leap and Kilmurry, Castlehaven are certain of both top spot in the group and a place in the knockout stages. The Haven (+8) are battling with the three other unbeaten teams across Groups A and C — Douglas (+10), Clonakilty (+9), and St Finbarr’s (+4) — for the semi-final spot awarded to the top-ranked group winner.
Progressing from Group B alongside last season’s beaten finalists will be the winners of Éire Óg and Newcestown. Éire Óg’s better score difference means they’ll progress to the quarter-finals should proceedings finish level.
Very little to work out here. Given St Finbarr’s and Clonakilty are already through, all that is on the line in their game at Coachford is who finishes first in the group and puts themselves in the frame for the aforementioned semi-final berth. The loser of Ballincollig-Ilen Rovers is in danger of having to fight relegation.
Plenty at stake here as all four teams remain in the hunt for quarter-final involvement. Let’s start with current group leaders Bandon. A win or draw against Dohenys pushes them through. Defeat would not be fatal for Bandon, if Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh and O’Donovan Rossa drew or the latter won but failed to make up the seven-point score difference between themselves and Bandon. A draw will do for second-placed Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh, so long as Dohenys don’t beat Bandon. Dohenys really do need to beat Bandon as a draw will only be sufficient should O’Donovan Rossa overcome Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh. For O’Donovan Rossa to go from fourth to second, they have to win their game and rely on Bandon to do the same against Dohenys.
Neither 2020 premier intermediate champions Knocknagree nor St Michael’s can be dislodged from first and second in the group. The winner of their top-of-the-table clash will bypass the quarter-finals and take their place in the last four of the championship. The loser of the Bishopstown-Kiskeam game will move within 60 minutes of relegation to the premier intermediate ranks.
Unbeaten Mallow can’t be overtaken at the head of the group. Their focus is on nabbing one of the two semi-final berths. The winner of Fermoy versus Clyda Rovers will finish second in the group and advance to the quarter-finals. A draw here would see Fermoy go through on account of their superior score difference.
All very straightforward here. Kanturk and Naomh Abán, both of whom have already booked their tickets to the knockout phase, meet in Mallow to determine who tops the group and secures direct passage to the semis. Whoever loses between St Nick’s and Macroom will fight relegation.
Irrespective of what results materialise at Páirc Uí Rinn and Glantane, Cill na Martra cannot be overtaken at the head of the table. Should last year’s beaten semi-finalists secure a third group victory at the expense of bottom-placed and already eliminated St Vincent’s, they will take one of the two semi-final spots. Nemo Rangers versus Rockchapel is winner-takes-all. Rockchapel’s superior score difference means they will advance to the quarters if the game finishes level.
A draw will do for table-toppers Aghada against Na Piarsaigh. A draw would also suffice for third-placed Na Piarsaigh, but only if Newmarket do them a favour by beating Castletownbere in the other game. A win for Castletownbere at Dunmanway sends them through. For Newmarket to jump from fourth to second, they must secure a first win of the championship against the Beara outfit and hope Aghada come out on top in the other Group C game.