Despite that, they remain in a very healthy position, third place in the league, and will aim to close the gap on the sides above them when they travel to Waterpark, who are involved in a battle against the drop, just a point ahead of second-bottom Clonakilty. The Waterford side will scrap for every point and even a bonus point could be a decent return from this game.
After facing the two favourites early on, Galbally have hit a rich vein of form with three impressive wins. They will be aiming to climb up the table but won’t take anything for granted against a similarly rejuvenated Muskerry side. Eoin Keohane has helped inspire the mid-Cork side to two recent wins and home advantage should make this a tight hard-fought encounter.
Newcastle West have struggled to hit the heights of previous seasons. They will need to make full advantage of their home venue on Sunday as they take on a Kilfeacle side who have impressed, particularly their powerful back-row. Newcastle West will again rely on Stephen Kelly to provide a focal point for their attacks.
The last of the Clubs Cup quarter-finals takes place on Sunday, with Clanwilliam hosting St Senan’s. St Senan’s have already won in Tipperary Town this season but can’t take anything for granted against a Clanwilliam side who have improved since that defeat in early November.
The big game in Division 2 is a North Cork derby. Mallow host Charleville, with both teams struggling to get their seasons going. Mallow have been hit by the loss of key players in the close season and remain winless. Charleville are eight points above their hosts and a win will go a long way to securing their place in this division.
Tralee are also struggling at the wrong end of the table, and Cobh Pirates will be confident they can come away from Kerry with a win. Dungarvan will hope for at least a morale-boosting performance as they host a Ballincollig side who look set for a mid-table finish.
In Division 3, Fermoy will be eager to bounce back from a thumping defeat by Youghal. A win would put them back in the promotion hunt but they take on a Killarney side who can put themselves in the promotion hunt with a win.
The other game in the division will see Scariff host Fethard, with both sides seeking a first victory, although Fethard have come close in most of their games.
In the Martin O’Sullivan Cup, Crosshaven and Youghal will be favourites despite making trips west. Crosshaven take on Bantry Bay while the East Cork side face Corca Dhuibhne.