Today’s Cork championship previews

Cork SFC first round, Carbery v O’Donovan Rossa, Dunmanway, 3pm

Last year, O’Donovan Rossa reached the semi-finals, losing to neighbours Castlehaven, and building on that performance is the challenge.

Experienced pair Eddie Nealon and Pat Gilmore won’t be involved while Eoin Hodnett is a major injury doubt, though his brother Donal Óg and Seán Carmody should pass fitness tests.

Kevin Davis has been in excellent form during the league for the Skibbereen side and Cork panellist Mark Collins, David Shannon, and Thomas Hegarty are all likely to be influential.

They will find things tough against the divisonal side, who can call upon Colm, Kevin and Brian O’Driscoll, Ruairí Deane, Seán O’Leary and Mark Sugrue, while Alan O’Connor should be available after his return for club side St Colum’s last week.

Graham Canty is also in the panel, but Owen Sexton isn’t involved at the moment and Cork U21 Don O’Driscoll remains out injured.

Verdict:

O’Donovan Rossa

Did You Know?

Carbery manager Gene O’Driscoll was Skibbereen’s player-manager when they won county, Munster and All-Ireland titles in 1992/93.

Newcestown v Cork IT, Páirc Uí Rinn, 3.30pm

Having won the Premier IHC last year, Newcestown begin life as a fully fledged senior side with what could be a tricky proposition and they are without injured trio Eoin Kelly (hamstring), Darren Heffernan (ribs) and Seán O’Donovan (broken finger).

Even with those absentees, though, there is still an abundance of quality in the West Cork club’s ranks, including Carthach and Fionn Keane, Tadhg and Daniel Twomey, Mark Kelly, and James Desmond. Their college opponents are likely to feature Cork U21 pair Peter Kelleher and Anthony Casey, while a lot of the side which won the Fresher Division 2 title should be involved too.

Verdict:

Newcestown

Did You Know?

Newcestown wore CIT’s jerseys when forced to change for last year’s PIHC semi-final against Mallow.


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