THE first-round draws for the men’s senior and intermediate championship have thrown up some interesting confrontations.
Headlining the first-round clashes is the April 26th meeting of defending champion Aidan Murphy and Martin Coppinger. Ballygurteen is again the chosen venue making this an exact replica of the 2019 county decider when Murphy prevailed in a contest that did not live up to expectations.
Coppinger will be looking for a bigger, better performance when they meet again while Murphy can also improve on his bowling that day and will not want to relinquish his hold on the title in his first defence. It promises an intriguing shoot-out.
Aidan Murphy’s brother, David, the 2018 champion, also has a first-round tie and he will need to be at his best to negotiate the Ballinagree road in better figures that Michael Harrington who has always been a tough opponent.
Killian Kingston and Arthur McDonagh is another first-round fixture. Kingston, champion in 2016, can be a match for anyone on his day while McDonagh, runner-up to David Murphy in 2018, is due a county win. The byes from the 11 starters are, James O’Donovan, Gary Daly, Michael Bohane, Eamonn Bowen and Seamus Sexton.
The full first round draw is: Killian Kingston v Arthur McDonagh at Whitechurch on Sunday, April 5th, at 2.30pm; David Murphy v Michael Harrington, Ballinagree, on Saturday April 25th, at 2.30pm; Aidan Murphy v Martin Coppinger, Ballygurteen, on Sunday, April 26th, at 2.30pm.
Fourteen start in the men’s intermediate championship with six first-round ties getting the competition underway. The pick of these could be the meeting of in-form Brian Wilmot and 2018 junior A champion John O’Rourke at Macroom and the Ballyvourney clash of upgraded Billy McAuliffe and veteran campaigner Christy Mullins.
Also of interest will be the Gavin Twohig-John Creedon confrontation at Newcestown, as both contenders have been relatively inactive in recent months.
The full first round intermediate draw is: Wayne Callanan v Donal O’Riordan at Crookstown on Saturday, April 4th, at 2.30pm; Paul Buckley v Willie O’Donovan at Firmount on Sunday, April 5th, at 11am; Gavin Twohig v John O’Rourke at Newcestown on Sunday, April 26th, at 5.30pm; Brian Wilmot v John O’Rourke at Macroom on Monday, May 4th, at 2.30pm; Patrick O’Donoghue v Jimmy O’Driscoll, at on Saturdat, May 9th, at 2.30pm; Billy McAuliffe v Christy Mullins at Ballyvourney on Sunday, May 10th, at 2.30pm; Byes to Edmund Sexton and Raymond Ryan.