IT’S not the draw that Carbery manager Gene O’Driscoll wanted – but he’s still confident that the divisional side can dethrone the reigning Cork SFC champions Nemo Rangers in this year’s championship.
Last Monday night’s Cork championship draws conjured up this heavyweight Round 4 tie between Carbery and Nemo, easily the standout game that pits the defending champs against one of the dark horses for the title.
Carbery, who beat O’Donovan Rossa in Round 1 but lost to St Finbarr’s in Round 2A, received a bye from Round 3 and were then paired with Nemo, which isn’t ideal for a divisional team, as Gene O’Driscoll explains.
‘We would have preferred not to get a bye in round three and play a game in that round instead, especially when you consider that we then drew Nemo – that’s as tough as it gets,’ O’Driscoll said.
‘If you want to win something, you have to take on all comers, but for divisional sides the more games you get, the better chance you have of building some momentum.
‘If you had a choice this is not the game you’d want without another game under your belt, especially when you consider that we don’t know when this game will be played.
‘Nemo are the best team in the competition, they are the benchmark, so it’s a game that focuses the mind too, that will galvanise us, we won’t have any excuses, we’ll prepare the best way we can and we have already set aside every Monday now for Carbery.’
The 2012 and ’13 champions Castlehaven have received a bye through to Round 4 where they await the winner of the Round 3 tie between Ilen Rovers and Carrigaline; a derby clash between Haven and Ilen would certainly draw a crowd and create great interest locally.
Carbery Rangers, St Finbarr’s and Valley Rovers have all received byes to the quarter-finals, while Clonakilty, who beat St Nick’s in Round 2B, take on CIT in Round 3. If Clon defeat the students, it wil set up a Round 4 meeting with one of Clyda Rovers, Ballincollig or Beara; the latter duo have still to meet in Round 2B.
Muskerry, beaten by Nemo in the last round, take on the Avondhu team that ended O’Donovan Rossa’s interest in the championship, and the winner of this all divisional clash will play either Newcestown or UCC in Round 4.
Duhallow and Douglas have been paired together in Round 3, with the winner moving forward to a game against Bishopstown.
The draw for the Cork SFC quarter-finals to be made at a later date.
Cork SFC Round 3: A: Clyda Rovers v winners of Ballincollig/Beara; B: Avondhu v Muskerry; C: Clonakilty v CIT; D: Newcestown v UCC; E: Duhallow v Douglas; F: Ilen Rovers v Carrigaline; Carbery a bye.
Round 4: Carbery v Nemo Rangers; Castlehaven v F; Bishopstown v E; D v B; C v A.
In the Cork PIFC, Bantry Blues, who got their campaign back on track with a win against Newmarket two weeks ago, await the loser of Fermoy v Ballinora in Round 3. If the Blues win, then it’s onto a quarter-final against Eire Óg.
Beal Athá’n Ghaorthaidh could face Macroom in Round 4, if the latter can overcome last year’s defeated finalists St Michaels in Round 3. Naomh Abán, who lost heavily to Na Piarsaigh last time out, meet Nemo Rangers’ second team in Round 3.
Cork PIFC Round 3: A: Nemo Rangers v Naomh Abán; B: Kiskeam v Mallow; C: Bantry Blues v Losers of Fermoy/Ballinora; D: Macroom v St Michaels.
Quarter-finals: 1: Eire Óg v C; 2: Winners of Fermoy/Ballinora v A; 3: Na Piarsaigh v B; 4: Beal Athá’n Ghaorthaidh v D.
Semi-finals: 1 v 2; 3 v 4.