BY JOHNNY CAROLAN
WHILE the possibility of an all-West Cork group in the 2022 Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC is remote, there is a guarantee of at least one clash between Carbery sides.
The draws for this year take place at a special county board meeting this Tuesday night, February 8th.
As a result of reaching the county final, losing out to St Finbarr’s, Clonakilty are now A seeds along with the Togher side. Douglas and the Haven were the beaten semi-finalists but it is the city side who take the remaining first seed slot thanks to a better record in the group stage – they earned a quarter-final bye before losing to Clon.
Castlehaven are B seeds along with beaten quarter-finalists Valley Rovers and Éire Óg, while there is a change for this year in that, rather than distinct third and fourth seeds, the remaining six sides are grouped together as C/D seeds. That sextet features Newcestown, Carbery Rangers, Carrigaline, Ballincollig, senior A champions Mallow and the champions of 2019 and 2020, Nemo Rangers.
With three groups and four West Cork teams, one section will have to house two but the relegation of Ilen Rovers to senior A means that the chances of derby ties are reduced.
The Baltimore/Church Cross side are A seeds in the second tier along with beaten finalists St Michael’s and Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh while Dohenys – beaten by Michael’s in the semis – ranked second with Clyda Rovers and Knocknagree. Bandon and O’Donovan Rossa are C/D seeds with Bishopstown, Fermoy, Kiskeam and Newmarket.
Following their relegation to premier intermediate, Bantry Blues are A seeds in the third grade, where Castletownbere are C/D seeds. Their neighbours are C/D seeds in the 16-team intermediate A championship, along with Gabriel Rangers. Having made the Co-op SuperStores Senior A Hurling Championship semi-finals – losing out to eventual champions Kanturk after extra time – Newcestown are rewarded with an A seed along with beaten finalists Fr O’Neills and Carrigtwohill, who drop down from premier senior.
Blarney, Bride Rovers and Mallow are the B seeds while Courcey Rovers – up from premier intermediate – are among the C/D grouping with Ballyhea, Ballymartle, Cloyne, Fermoy and Killeagh.
Courceys swap places with Bandon, who have an A seeding in the PIHC, with Ballinhassig and Castlelyons also top-ranked. Valley Rovers and Carrigaline are grouped with Kilworth as B seeds while Muskerry trio Ballincollig, Éire Óg and Inniscarra have East Cork sides Castlemartyr, Watergrasshill and Youghal for company in the C/D setting.
In what is now the Premier Junior Hurling Championship, renamed from Lower Intermediate, the beaten finalists of last year, Kilbrittain, are A seeds with Ballygarvan and relegated Glen Rovers. Argideen Rangers, Tracton and Milford are B seeds while Barryroe, Ballygiblin, Dripsey, St Finbarr’s, St Catherine’s and Russell Rovers are C/D seeds.