BY DENIS HURLEY
WITH almost all of the Round 2A and Round 2B ties in this year’s county SFC now played, the picture is slightly clearer.
Out of the reckoning are Dohenys, St Nicholas, O’Donovan Rossa, Seandun and Aghada – these teams have lost two matches and so cannot win the championship. Beara or Ballincollig must still play in Round 2B and, in addition, Round 1 losers Clyda Rovers received a bye to Round 3 so if they are beaten there they will also join the other five in playing off to determine the bottom two teams (though no automatic relegation will accrue this year).
There are six teams – champions Nemo Rangers, last year’s runners-up Castlehaven, Carbery Rangers, Valley Rovers, Bishopstown and St Finbarr’s – who have now won two games following the playing of Round 2A. Three of them will receive byes to the quarter-finals when the draws for the latter stages are made, while the other three will play winners from round 3.
Round 3 will feature 13 teams. These are the losers from Round 2A – Muskerry, CIT, Douglas, Carrigaline, UCC and Carbery – on one side of the draw along with the winners from Round 2B – Avondhu, Ilen Rovers, Clonakilty, Duhallow, Newcestown and Ballincollig/Beara – and Clyda.
With an odd number of teams, one side (not Clyda) will receive a bye to Round 4 and a seeded draw (2A losers can’t play other 2A losers and 2B winners can’t play 2B winners) will determine the six pairings. The six winners and the bye team will then proceed to Round 4, with three of them meeting Round 2A winners and the other four forming two ties.
The five winners from Round 4 will then advance to the quarter-finals, where they will then join the three teams who received byes. The championship will proceed as normal thereafter.
Bishopstown emerged from Round 2A with a 3-9 to 1-13 win over UCC, former Kilmacabea player Daniel O’Donovan scoring 2-6 for the city side. His 11th-minute punched goal helped the Town to a 1-5 to 0-7 half-time lead and they gave themselves a strong cushion early in the second half.
O’Donovan got his second on 37 after a great catch and was then the architect for Denis Crowley to get in on the act. Cathal Murphy did get a late UCC goal but a comeback was never likely.
In Round 2B, Jerry O’Connor scored 2-4 with Séamus Hickey helping himself to 1-4 as Duhallow were easy winners against Seandun on a scoreline of 3-16 to 0-3. Michael Vaughan kicked five points for the north-west division.