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FIVE TALKING POINTS: Skibb win but lose, while Clon lose but win

September 15th, 2023 8:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

FIVE TALKING POINTS: Skibb win but lose, while Clon lose but win Image
O'Donovan Rossa's Paudie Crowley in control against Fermoy's James O'Brien during their Bon Secours SAFC round three tie at Bandon on Sunday. (Photo: Paddy Feen)

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Here are five talking points from the final weekend of group games in the county football championships


SKIBB WIN BUT LOSE – It is a cruelty of the round-robin system in the Cork championships now that, unless a team wins all three matches, destiny can be shaped by events elsewhere, for better or worse. Going into Sunday’s game against Fermoy in Bandon, O’Donovan Rossa had to win and were hoping for a Kanturk win against Knocknagree, or a draw – or a Knocknagree win of four points or more. Had Skibb won by more than three, they would have been in the knockout stages but, even so, they were unlucky that Knocknagree beat Kanturk but only by three points. It left Skibb level on points with the Duhallow pair and with the same scoring difference as Kanturk but unfortunately losing out on total points scored. It will be no consolation to any Rossas soul that the same situation next year would have seen them top the group – under the new rules, if there is such a tie, only scoring difference from the games between the teams involved is taken into account.

Clonakilty's Chris Kenneally is challenge by Castlehaven's Robbie Minihane and Brian Hurley during the Bon Secours PSFC derby at Bandon. (Photo: Paddy Feen)


CLON LOSE BUT WIN – Sometimes, there can be a sense that knockout football causes the fear of defeat to override the desire of a team to express themselves, leaving us with plenty of bus-parking and low scoring matches. The lie was given to that notion in the second game in Bandon on Sunday as Castlehaven beat Clonakilty by 1-16 to 1-14 in what was a very entertaining encounter. Given the circumstances that pertained before the final round of fixtures, Clon would have expected such an outcome to knock them out as a Carbery Rangers win over the already-eliminated Valley Rovers would have sent them through unless there was a draw in Bandon. However, the spectre of the relegation play-off was enough of a motivator for Valleys, who triumphed in Timoleague – finishing third in the process as Ross dropped to fourth. It meant that Clon’s disappointment was short-lived, albeit with their relief tempered by the knowledge they must face champions Nemo Rangers next.


BEARA NECESSITIES – In both the second and third rounds of the county football championships, the three Beara sides – Castletownbere, Adrigole and Urhan – all won and they have all progressed to the knockout stages. Castletown were the only team with a 100 percent record in the Bon Secours Hospital Premier IFC and they can now prepare for a semi-final, while Adrigole bounced back from an opening loss to Aghabullogue by beating Gabriel Rangers and Glenville, qualifying from their group in second place. As mentioned elsewhere, Urhan have really benefited from competing in the Premier JFC and they were unbeaten, drawing with Cullen and beating Ballydesmond and St Nicholas – as recently as 2019, the latter were senior while Urhan were junior A.

DOHENYS PASS TEST – Given that Dohenys had already secured top spot in Group C of the Bon Secours Senior A Football Championship before their clash with Ilen Rovers in Drimoleague on Sunday, it would have been understandable if they weren’t at full pelt. Ilen couldn’t qualify but needed to win to give themselves a chance of avoiding the relegation final and that was a factor in their fast start. The Baltimore/Church Cross outfit were still in front with 13 minutes left before Dohenys’ strong finish gave them the points and an automatic semi-final spot. Declan O’Dwyer and the Dohenys management won’t have been pleased with some of their side’s display but there’s little doubt that coming through a test like that will have been far more useful than an easy victory.

NEWCESTOWN’S ‘BUBBLY’ FORM – More than most, Newcestown are familiar with the demands of playing six games in seven weekends across both codes. Sometimes, it can be a burden but then benefits can accrue too, with the rising tide lifting both boats as confidence from winning in hurling seeps into football and vice versa. After qualifying from their hurling group, Newcestown faced Bishopstown in a winner-take-all Group C tie in the SAFC, to see who would advance behind Dohenys. Bishopstown had the scoring-difference advantage in the event of a draw but Newcestown, leading by 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time, added 1-4 on the resumption as they ran out winners by 1-19 to 2-10. Little wonder that manager Tim Buckley hailed the display as ‘champagne football for 50 minutes’.


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