HERE, we pick five derbies that we think are worth keeping an eye on in the upcoming county championships that throw in later this month.
Carbery Rangers v Castlehaven
(PSFC Group B1, Sunday July 26th, in Clonakilty, at 2.30pm)
There’s no love lost between these fierce rivals, familiar foes at this level and the division’s two most successful senior teams in the past decade. Last season, Ross won a classic, 2-17 to 1-18, after extra-time. Given only two qualify from the West Cork Group of Death, getting points on the board early is key – and also denting the other’s chances is an added bonus. Expect a battle.
Naomh Abán v Cill na Martra
(PIFC Group B1, Sunday July 26th, in Macroom, at 4pm)
The meeting of this Mid Cork duo in their opening group game in the Premier Intermediate Football Championship will see Cill na Martra favoured, but there’s little to gauge the form of either heading into this one. Cill na Martra contested the Division 1 county football league final last season but were knocked out at the quarter-finals of the PIFC. Don’t underestimate Naomh Abán though, they got to the last four of the Cork PIFC in 2018 and only lost by a point there to Fermoy.
Kilbrittain v Barryroe
(LIHC Group A1, Sunday August 2nd, in Timoleague, at 2pm)
What a derby for both to open up their Lower Intermediate Hurling Championship campaign with. Ballygarvan and Russell Rovers are also in this group, but all the focus will be on the meeting of Kilbrittain and Barryroe in the first round of games. When the two rivals last clashed in the championship, an IHC Round 2A tie in June 2017, Kilbrittain won 2-16 to 1-9. Both teams struggled in last season’s IHC and they both know too that a winning start is crucial in this campaign.
Dohenys v Bandon
(SAFC Group C2, w/e August 14th - 16th)
By the time Dohenys and Bandon collide in their Senior A Football Championship group match they will already have played one game each (Dohenys v Fermoy, Bandon v Clyda Rovers) so there could already be pressure on one or both to get a win here to boost their chances of making the knock-out stages. Only two teams progress from the group. It will be interesting see how Dohenys fare at Senior A, having been perennial strugglers in the old SFC top tier.
Carbery Rangers v Newcestown
(PSFC Group B1, w/e September 4th - 6th)
The Group of Death will reach its finale in early September and the hope is that everything will hinge on the final round of games. If it does, Ross v Newcestown is an intriguing match-up. They haven’t met in the senior championship since 2011 and Ross won there, but Newcestown are the ones to watch in this group – they were county semi-finalists last season and they’re always hardened opponents. This has the potential to test the finger nails of both sets of supporters.