THE Bandon Co-op junior A football championship begins this weekend with five games down for decision. Because of Cork’s involvement in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final on Sunday, a number of games have been re-fixed for the following weekend. This season, the second teams of senior and intermediate teams have been paired together in Round 1.
Friday, August 6th
Clonakilty v Bandon in Timoleague, at 7.15pm: Both are second teams and impossible to forecast what teams they will field. Clon lost to St James in Round 1 last season but then had wins over Barryroe and St Colum’s before losing to eventual champions, Kilmacabea. Bandon lost to Kilmacabea and then to Kilbrittain. Neither team has shown any great form in the league cup, Closing losing their three games and Bandon winning one out of two. Clon get a doubtful vote for this one. Clon last won the title in 1977 and Bandon in 2015.
O’Donovan Rossa v Carbery Rangers in Leap, at 7.15pm: Two second teams in opposition here. The sides also met in Round 1 last season with the Skibb side winning but it was the Ross men who advanced unexpectedly to the final with wins over Mathúna’s, Dohenys, Kilbrittain and Argideen. They lost to Kilmac in the final. Rossa’s lost to Tadhg MacCárthaigh in Round 3. Rangers, on the foot of winning the recent U21 championship, should win this clash. Rossa’s last won the title in 2005, and Rangers in 2003.
Kilbrittain v Tadhg MacCárthaigh in Ballinacarriga, at 7.15pm: Tadhg MacCárthaigh are among the favourites each year and reached the semi-final last season, following a surprise first round loss to Kilmeen and then wins over Muintir Bháire, Rossa’s and Kilmeen. They lost narrowly in the semi-final to Kilmacabea. Kilbrittain lost the first round to St. Colum’s but then beat Bandon and Castlehaven to reach the quarter-final, which was lost to Carbery Rangers. In the league cup, Kilbrittain have won two and lost two, while the Caheragh men have won two, drawn two and lost one. A good game could result in a win for MacCárthaighs. Kilbrittain never won the title, while MacCárthaighs lost won in 2012.
Saturday, August 7th
St. Oliver Plunkett’s v Diarmuid Ó Mathúna in Newcestown, at 7.15pm: Neither side has set the world on fire in recent seasons. Plunkett’s beat Muintir Bháire in Round 1 last season but then lost to Ballinascarthy. Mathúna’s lost to St. Mary’s and Carbery Rangers. In the league cup, Plunkett’s have shown better form, winning one and drawing one of three games, while Mathúna’s have lost all four of their games. The Ahiohill men look the stronger side at the moment and should win. Neither side has ever won the title.
Sunday, August 8th
St. James v Argideen Rangers in Clonakilty, at 7.15pm
This could be a real thriller as St. James will be on a revenge mission. Last season the Ardfield men were reigning champions but were knocked out by Argideen in Round 3. Argideen then beat Bal in the quarter final but lost the semi-final to Carbery Rangers. This season St James have won two and drawn one in the league cup, while Argideen have won one and lost two. St James may just get their revenge. St. James won their only title in 2019 and Argideen their only title in 1994.