Richmond hold the aces in Challenge Cup final

KILFEACLE and Richmond clash in Sunday’s Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup final (Charleville, 2pm).

The sides have contrasting form in their league campaigns since their semi-finals in September. Richmond top Division One while a string of injuries and late losses leave Kilfeacle in a surprise relegation battle.

Richmond enter the tie as hot favourites, given their recent form, and the displays of Jonathon Ford, Stephen Clancy and Garrett Hanlon. Kilfeacle will try disrupt the quality of Richmond ball and hope to win the forward battle. But the latter’s quality out wide may see them claim the trophy for the first time.

While the Limerick side will be fully focused on claiming their first major trophy, attention will switch after the full-time whistle to events in Crosshaven, as league title challengers Galbally face a tough test against the hosts.

Having had their game with Skibbereen called off last week, Galbally will be aiming to take their chance to bounce back after their first league defeat of the season against Waterpark. Discipline has been an issue for Galbally in recent weeks with a number of dismissals — they will need a full complement of players to compete with the Cork side who will be confident of a home victory.

The Myrtleville men’s pack are very dynamic, with Eamon Ring and Merle O’Connell impressing this season. Former Bective and Leinster player Fergal Campion has proved a valuable asset and should things be tight towards the finish, he may well aim to repeat his O’Garaesque drop-goal clincher of last weekend.

In Division Two, the four promotion contenders take on the sides at the foot of the table. There were two divisions between Presentation and Ballincollig last season, but it is the promoted Limerick side who will be expecting to win out at Rathuard this weekend. They remain unbeaten in the league while Ballincollig are second from bottom.

Mallow top the table and despite being on the road should prove too strong for Bandon. The hosts need a committed display to thwart the North Cork side’s attacking threats.

Bottom of the table Newport won’t be expecting to get too much out of their game against Newcastle West, while St Mary’s will be expecting to at least pick up four points as they host Muskerry, who defeated Bandon last weekend.

Kinsale host Youghal with the East Cork side very much in the mix for a top two finish while Scariff will be full of confidence at home to Castleisland. Down in Kerry, Killarney should get the better of Ennis in the Kingdom.

In Division Three, Killorglin and Dungarvan face tricky away ties as they bid to keep their distance from the chasing pack.

Killorglin make a long trip to play Waterford City while Dungarvan face Douglas at Moneygourney.

Charleville will bid to maintain some pressure on the top two as they travel to Abbeyfeale. Fermoy should prove too strong for Dunmanway while Corca Dhuibhne host Kilrush.

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