Rowa-Rowex Pharma Junior A Football Championship quarter-final – Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh v Barryroe, Saturday, August 20th, Leap, 7pm:
AMAZINGLY, neither side has seen championship action since the end of April, both winning then and receiving byes. Barryroe beat Muintir Bháire and won by 0-14 to 0-11 despite finishing with 13 men. Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh met St James’ in Round 1 and didn’t have it all their own way, trailing by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break before pushing on for a 1-9 to 0-9 win.
Having three Cork seniors may be a great honour, but certainly doesn’t help a club team’s preparation. Now that Cork’s season is over, the three O’Driscoll brothers, Colm, Kevin and Brian, should be big assets to Caheragh while Kevin O’Regan, Seán McCarthy, Mark Barrett, Shane O’Driscoll, Colm O’Neill and Mark O’Driscoll can also impact. Ibane’s U21 county final victory will be a huge boost to Barryroe, who include Conor Madden, Daniel O’Driscoll, David Kiely, Mark Crowley and Jack Cahalane from that team. The experience will come from Ger O’Leary, Tadhg Harrington, Gearóid Holland, Tim Carroll and John O’Donovan.
Verdict: Caheragh to scrape over the line.
RCM Tarmacadam Junior A Hurling Championship quarter-final – Ballinascarthy v Dohenys, Saturday, August 20th, Clonakilty, 7pm:
BOTH teams enter this game having won two and lost one game each to date. In the first round, Ballinascarthy lowered the colours of champions Clonakilty but then lost to St Colum’s while Dohenys, minus a good few of their regulars from last season, took all their time to scrape over Bandon’s second squad, before losing to Diarmuid Ó Mathuna’s.
Ricky Flynn at midfield and Darragh Hennessy up front have been the stars of the Bal side so far, with Cillian Cullinane, Cathal Nyhan, Daniel Nyhan, Luke Murray, Séamus McCarthy, Chris Ryan, Jeremy Ryan and Aidan O’Donovan spearheading a young side that plays a nice brand of hurling.
Centre back Jerry McCarthy is the star of the Doheny side, while they will look for a big game from Cork minor Mark Buckley in attack. Vincent Healy, Tadhg O’Leary, Killian Crowley, Noel Collins, Pa McCarthy, John Healy, Jamie Carroll, Brendan McCarthy and Denis Cronin, have a lot of hurling under their belts.
Verdict: Bal look to have a little more penetration and get a narrow vote to advance to the semi-final against Kilbree.
RCM Tarmacadam Junior A Hurling Championship quarter-final – Diarmuid Ó Mathúna v St Oliver Plunkett’s, Sunday, August 21st, Rossmore, 3pm:
MATHÚNA’S put their unbeaten record, championship and league, on the line when they take on Plunkett’s, conquerors of champions Clonakilty in the last round.
The beaten finalists of the last two years were put to the pin of their collar to register an extra-time victory over Newcestown in the first round. They followed that with a decisive win over Dohenys. Plunkett’s, champions in 2011, beat St James’ but then lost to Kilbree. Against Clon, they produced a great rally to take victory.
Mathúna’s have a good mix of experience and youth on their side with the O’Donovan brothers, Kevin and Gearóid, and Jamie Lucey belying their young years, while veteran John Paul O’Callaghan is playing better than ever up front. Add in Johnny Nyhan, Patrick Crowley, Seán Crowley, Aidan Collins, David Nyhan and Ted Lordan and you have a side fully capable of going a step further.
Plunkett’s field a side with a wealth of experience right through. The four O’Driscoll brothers, outstanding centre back Conor, TJ, Eddie and Niall provide the backbone while the Coffeys, Timmy and Kevin, in sparkling scoring form against Clon, Michael P. Keohane, Eoin Barrett, Niall Aherne, Brian Walsh and young Seán O’Donovan showed great hunger against Clon.
Verdict: While one must fancy unbeaten Mathúna’s to qualify for the semi-final against St Colum’s, Plunkett’s never know when they are beaten. Mathúna’s by a couple of points.