CARBERY NEWS: JAFC final scheduled for October 29th
THE WEATHER – We got a real taste of climate change last weekend and what it means to be playing our club championships at this time of the year when the weather clerk decides to test the resolve of the boards and clubs and the composition of our pitches. That any games were played was little short of a miracle but the tight schedule of games in all our championships meant that games were given the go-ahead when common-sense and safety said they should have been cancelled. The senior game in Bandon between Clonakilty and Nemo Rangers was the most glaring example of that. In all cases the safety of the players must get priority, tight schedule or no tight schedule, and when one realises how much preparation goes into a team to get them as far as this in the championship, then departing the championship in such appalling playing conditions as we had all over the county last weekend, is totally unacceptable. The experts tell us that this kind of weather is going to become more common and more frequent with climate change, so where will that leave our split season and the playing of club championships in October and November? When will the GAA in Croke Park face up to that reality as boards scramble to find playable pitches and players’ safety is put at risk? Here in Carbery, we were lucky that only two of our six scheduled games in the football championships fell by the wayside, the junior A quarter-finals between Tadhg MacCárthaigh and St. Colum’s and between Kilmacabea and Carbery Rangers.
FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS – The two quarter-finals of the Bandon Co-Op junior A football championship that did take place saw two cracking contests that would have thrilled the crowds on a fine summer evening. Championship favourites Barryroe had to go to extra time before seeing off a gallant Castlehaven second fifteen, while Ballinascarthy, still on the trail of the elusive double, had only a point to spare over neighbours Argideen Rangers.
The semi-finals of the junior A football were scheduled for this weekend but the postponement of two quarter-finals means those semi-finals will now go back to October 22nd. That date, 22nd, was earmarked for the final but, luckily, the board had managed to keep one free weekend at the end of the championship, October 29th, for replayed finals or emergencies. That emergency is now with us, so the junior A football final is pencilled in for the 29th. If there are any more postponements, and the weather forecast certainly doesn’t look promising, those games will have to go ahead mid-week, putting more pressure on the board, clubs and pitches. The county board deadline for the interdivisional, which is sacrosanct, is November 4/5th. The two quarter-finals of the Bandon Co-Op junior B football managed to go ahead last weekend. County champions St Oliver Plunkett’s got back to winning ways with a win over Dohenys second team, while Muintir Bháire’s woes continued, going under to O’Donovan Rossa. The semi-finals of that competition will go ahead this weekend, with the final scheduled for either the 21st or 28th October.
FIXTURES – There are four football games down for decision this weekend, hoping that Storm Agnes hasn’t wiped out all pitches. The two junior A postponed quarter-finals will take place. Tadhg MacCárthaigh will be favoured to overcome St Colum’s in Dunmanway on Sunday, 1st, at 2pm, while Kilmacabea will start favourites against Carbery Rangers in Rossmore at 4.30pm. If those pitches are unplayable, it is planned to have standby pitches available, rather than postponing the games again. In the junior B football semi-finals, Goleen will be favoured to beat O’Donovan Rossa on Sunday in Ballydehob at 3pm, while there won’t be a kick of a ball between Plunkett’s and Bantry’s second team in Drimoleague at 3pm.
COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS– There were mixed fortunes for West Cork football teams in county board action last weekend. Castlehaven and Newcestown, after penalties, advanced in premier senior and senior A, while Clon were again out of luck against Nemo, and Ilen’s slip down the grades unfortunately continued with defeat in the relegation game against Fermoy. Newcestown get no rest as they turn to hurling this weekend, the senior A semi-final against Carrigtwohill scheduled for Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday at 4pm. Busy Barryroe carry the banner in premier junior hurling, meeting Erin’s Own in Carrigaline on Saturday at 5pm, with rumours that Robbie O’Flynn may make an appearance for the East Cork side. We wish both Carbery teams all the best in their endeavours.
30TH ANNIVERSARY – It’s hard to believe it’s all of 30 years since Small Mick McCarthy led O’Donovan Rossa to All-Ireland club glory in a never-to-be-forgotten campaign in early 1993, culminating in that amazing double final against Éire Óg of Carlow. The players on that Rossa team are planning a get-together dinner at the end of October and tickets are available for this unique event from the Rossa club. We’re looking forward to it already.