BY KIERAN McCARTHY
REIGNING Cork SFC champions Carbery Rangers will begin the defence of their title on Sunday, April 30th when they take on local rivals Clonakilty in a round one tie in Castlehaven, at 4pm.
This match will form the second part of a double-header that day in Castlehaven’s redeveloped Moneyvollahane facilities as Ilen Rovers and Carbery will lock horns in their round one clash at 2.15pm.
Castlehaven – minus the injured Brian Hurley – will begin their SFC campaign against CIT in Newcestown on Monday, April 17th, at 3pm, and on the same day, Duhallow and Muskerry will battle it out, with a venue to be confirmed.
The day before – Sunday, April 16th – Beara meet Valley Rovers in their SFC round one game in Dunmanway, at 4pm.
Newcestown are the first West Cork team in Cork SFC action when they play Douglas in their preliminary round game in Brinny on Sunday, April 9th, at 3pm.
Another preliminary round game, featuring Dohenys and Aghada, takes place on Saturday, April 15th, in Ovens at 6pm.
Ned English’s O’Donovan Rossa will take on Nemo Rangers in their Cork SFC round one game in Bandon on Saturday, April 22nd, at 6.30pm, and later that evening in Pairc Uí Rinn, St Finbarr’s play Ballincollig at 8pm, as part of a double header with Seandún v St Nick’s.
Carrigaline’s SFC round one tie against Bishopstown goes ahead in Ballygarvan that same Saturday evening (22nd), at 6.30pm.
Bandon’s senior hurlers will be looking forward to Sunday, May 7th, because that’s the day they return to the Cork SHC with a preliminary round game against Muskerry in Brinny, at 3.30pm.
On the same day, in round one of the Cork SHC, Newcestown meet Ballyhea in Coachford at 4pm in the second part of a double header with the Carbery division’s senior hurlers meet Avondhu beforehand at 2.15pm.
Other dates of note will see current county JAFC champions Gabriel Rangers begin their IFC adventure with a round one match against Cill na Martra in Drimoleague at 6pm on Saturday, April 15th.
That same day, current IFC champs Bandon meet Beal Athán Ghaorthaidh in round one of the PIFC in Cloughduv at 6pm, and on same evening in the same competition Bantry Blues face St Vincent’s in Enniskeane, also at 6pm.
The championship action throws in very soon with Castletownbere playing Ballinora in a round one Cork PIFC game on Saturday, April 8th, in Ballingeary, at 6pm, and in the same competition that evening, Eire Óg take on Grenagh in Blarney, also at 6pm.
That same evening, in round one of the Cork JBFC, Goleen meet Deel Rovers in Kilmichael at 5pm.
Check out www.gaacork.ie for the full 2017 county championships programme.