Calculator out, DENIS HURLEY explains the various group permutations ahead of a busy weekend in the various county football championships
CLONAKILTY, BALLINCOLLIG and CARRIGALINE (PSFC Group A) – While they began with a good win over Carrigaline, Clon were defeated by Ballincollig last time out, meaning that they will need to get something from their clash with group leaders St Finbarr’s, who have own both of their outings so far. A Clon win would put them on four points with the Barrs but if Ballincollig were to overcome Carrigaline, they would also be on four, most likely with a better scoring-difference. Conversely, wins for the Barrs and Carrigaline would leave a three-way tie for second place, with scoring-difference again the differentiator.
CASTLEHAVEN, NEWCESTOWN, CARBERY RANGERS and ILEN ROVERS (PSFC Group B) – Castlehaven can’t be usurped at the top as, even if they lose to Ilen Rovers in Ballydehob, they have beaten both of the sides that could join them on four points, Carbery Rangers and Newcestown. While they are the only team already qualified, the Haven lag behind the other two group leaders, St Finbarr’s and Nemo Rangers, in terms of scoring-difference, so they will have an incentive to try to win big to give themselves a chance of picking up the one automatic semi-final spot. Equally, though, Ilen will be occupied in trying to avoid the relegation play-off. The other game, between Carbery Rangers and Newcestown in Ballinascarthy, is essentially a knockout game for a place in the quarter-finals. Should it end in a draw, however, Newcestown would advance as they have the better scoring-difference.
VALLEY ROVERS (PSFC Group C) – Valleys’ win over Douglas last time out gave them a huge boost and a victory against winless Bishopstown will be enough to progress as long as Nemo Rangers win or draw against Douglas. If Douglas were to beat the reigning champions, scoring-difference would decide the top two, with the city side currently four points better than Valleys in that regard.
O’DONOVAN ROSSA (SAFC Group A) – A rare cut-and-dried group in that O’Donovan Rossa and St Michael’s are both assured of qualification ahead of their meeting in Enniskeane. With two wins each, all that is left to be decided is first and second placings, with the winners almost certain of a semi-final spot due to the strong scoring-differences.
ÉIRE ÓG and BANTRY BLUES (SAFC Group B) – Bantry have lost their two games so far, but a win against Mallow, coupled with a Kiskeam victory over Éire Óg, would put them in a three-way tie for second. Éire Óg will need to beat Kiskeam and that result would put them top if Mallow fail to win, with scoring-difference deciding things otherwise.
BANDON and DOHENYS (SAFC Group C) – Bandon top the group after a win over Clyda Rovers and a draw with Dohenys, but things are very tight with Fermoy and Clyda on two points and Dohenys on one. As long as Bandon avoid defeat, they will be going through as group winners, and a loss would even suffice for qualification if Dohenys were to beat Clyda. Such a scenario would leave Dohenys in third, but they will qualify if both they and Bandon win.
CASTLETOWNBERE (PIFC Group A) – Having lost to Aghada and beaten Na Piarsaigh, the Beara side face Newmarket, who top the group. With Aghada expected to beat Piarsaigh, a win for Castletownbere could mean a three-way tie but they currently have the worst scoring-difference of the three.
CILL NA MARTRA and NAOMH ABÁN (PIFC Group B) – Cill na Martra, with two wins, are already qualified ahead of their game with Knocknagee, and will be top as long as they win or draw. Naomh Abán need to beat St Vincent’s and hope their neighbours do them a favour, with an eight-point turnaround in scoring-difference needed to overhaul Knocknagree.
MACROOM and GABRIEL RANGERS (PIFC Group C) – Gabriels need to beat Kanturk and hope group leaders Nemo Rangers beat Macroom – that would leave a three-way tie for second, but the Ballydehob/Schull side would also need to improve their scoring-difference. Macroom face Nemo and a win would almost certainly put them through as long as a Kanturk victory didn’t outstrip them in scoring-difference – currently, Macroom’s is three better
BALLINORA (IAFC Group A) – Both they and their opponents St Finbarr’s have lost to Millstreet and beaten Glenville, so their game is effectively a knockout tie, with Ballinora having the scoring-difference advantage if the game is a draw.
KINSALE (IAFC Group B) – Currently on two points, a point behind their opponents Dromtarriffe and Rockchapel, meaning a victory will send them through but any other result would eliminate them.
ADRIGOLE (IAFC Group C) – Tied in second with Glanworth, both on two points, so their meeting is a winner-take-all tie. A draw would eliminate Adrigole.
AGHABULLOGUE (IAFC Group D) – The Muskerry side have two points and face Glanmire, who have lost both games so far. If Kilshannig make it three wins from three against Kildorrery, the avoidance of defeat will send Aghabullogue through.