PROFILED: The 25 teams competing in the Carbery A and B championships this season

July 21st, 2022 12:30 PM

By Tom Lyons

At the launch of the Carbery championships in Ahiohill on Wednesday evening last week were, Aidan O'Rourke, chairman of the Carbery Board with Brian O'Driscoll of Tadhg Mac Carthaigh defending champions of the junior A football championship and Ciarán Nyhan, Ballinascarthy who are defending champions of the junior A hurling championship.

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With the new Carbery junior football championships up and running since last weekend and plenty more action to come across this Saturday and Sunday, Tom Lyons takes a brief look at the 25 teams competing in the A and B grades this season.

Bandon Co-op Junior A Football Championship 2022

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Tadhg MacCárthaigh – The reigning SW junior A football champions, their headquarters is Aughaville in the Caheragh Parish. They will start favourites to retain their title and achieve a long-held ambition to step up a grade from junior A. The Caheragh men have won the SW title on seven occasions: 1995, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2012 and 2021. Last season they beat Kilbrittain, Kilmacabea, Bandon, Carbery Rangers and St. Mary’s on the way to the title.

Argideen Rangers – Winners of the SW and county junior B football titles in 1993, 2001 and 2008, they won their only SW junior A title in 1994. Campaigning in the new premier junior hurling this season, they hail from the parish of Timoleague and are amalgamated with Barryroe in underage, as Ibane Gaels. Last season they lost to St. James in Round 1, beat Kilmeen in Round 2 and lost to Carbery Rangers in Round 3.

Bandon – As a first team they have won the SW junior A title more often than any other club, bringing home the title on sixteen occasions. At present, it is their second team which competes in the junior A championship. Their headquarters is at the Charlie Hurley Park in Bandon. Last season, they lost to Clonakilty in round 1, beat Dohenys in round 2, beat Muintir Bháire in round 3 and lost to Tadhg MacCárthaigh in the quarter-final.

Barryroe – Still waiting to win their first SW junior A football title, their successes have come mostly in hurling. They have won the SW junior B football title on several occasions, capturing the county title in 2002. Their fine headquarters is at Páirc Uí Mhurchú in Barryroe. Last season, they beat Kilmeen in Round 1, Castlehaven in Round 3, and lost to St. Mary’s in the quarter-final.

Prediction – Tadhg MacCárthaigh to win the group, with Barryroe taking second spot.

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St. James – Situated in the parish of Ardfield/Rathbarry, their great day came in 2019 when they defied all the odds to win their first and only SW junior A title, contesting the county final. Founded in 1892, they have won the SW B title on four occasions. Last season, they beat Argideen Rangers in round 1, Ballinascarthy in round 3 and lost to Carbery Rangers in the quarter-final.

St. Mary’s – Hailing from the twin villages of Ballineen/Enniskeane, location of their fine headquarters. As Enniskeane they won SW junior A titles in 1933, 1934 and 1936 and as St. Mary’s won again in 2009 and 2014. Won the county junior B title in 2004. Last season, they beat Kilmacabea, Newcestown, Barryroe and Clonakilty to reach the final, which was lost to Tadhg MacCárthaigh.

St. Colum’s – Located in Kealkil, they are one of the newest clubs in Carbery and there was great rejoicing in 2013 when they beat Tadhg MacCárthaigh in a replayed final to capture their only junior A title. They won the county junior B title in 1997. Last season, they lost to Ballinascarthy in round 1 and to Kilmacabea in round 2.

Castlehaven – Crowned SW junior A champions in 1973 and 1976, they subsequently took the football world by storm at senior level and their second team now carries the banner in junior A. Based in their splendid headquarters in Moneyvolihane, they are looking to contest their first final with the second squad. Much will depend on how many players they lose to senior ranks during the championship. Last season they beat Dohenys in round 1 but lost to Barryroe in round 3.

Prediction – St. Mary’s to win the group, with St. James in second place.

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Kilmacabea – It took them 130 years to win their first SW junior A title in 2017 but they more than compensated since with titles in 2018 and 2020. Their county junior B title in 1994 was their major achievement up to then. They lost their SW title last season when they were beaten in the first round by St. Mary’s, recovered to beat St. Colum’s in round 2 but then lost to arch-rivals, Tadhg MacCárthaigh, in the third round. Based in Leap village, they still wear their original green and yellow colours of 1887.

Ballinascarthy – One of the foremost dual clubs in the division. Over three-quarters of a century in existence, they have won the SW junior A title in 1978 and 1983. Existing SW hurling champions, they will be more than anxious to bridge the long gap to 1983 in football. Based around the small village of Ballinascarthy, they have a fine headquarters in the Henry Ford Park. Last season, they beat St. Colum’s in round 1 but lost to St. James in round 3.

Clonakilty – The aristocrats of West Cork football, winning nine county senior titles, they have won the SW junior A title on three occasions, 1930, 1949 and 1977, the latter two with their second squad. Their form in junior A usually depends on their senior demands. Based in their superb facilities in Ahamilla, they reached the semi-final last season, beating Bandon, O’Donovan Rossa and Kilbrittain before losing to St. Mary’s in the semi-final.

Kilbrittain – Renowned hurling club, founded in 1904. They won their sole SW junior A title in 1926, the second year of the new Carbery Division, losing the county final in a second replay. Winners of the county junior B title in 1992 and 2009, they have made big strides in football in recent years, contesting the junior A final in 2017. Last season they lost to eventual champions, Tadhg MacCárthaigh, in the first round by a single point, went on to beat Clann na nGael and Plunkett’s before losing to Clonakilty by a point in the quarter-final. They have opened a fine new pitch in Kilbrittain.

Prediction – Kilmacabea to win the group, with Ballinascarthy to secure second place.

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Carbery Rangers – The famed Rangers from Rosscarbery, one of the oldest football clubs in West Cork, won ten SW junior A titles, including four in-a-row from 1937 to 1940, before winning their first county title in 2003. They graduated to senior, winning the county in 2016. Their second squad has been very competitive in recent seasons, contesting the SW final in 2020.  They have two fine pitches and facilities in Ross. Last season, they beat O’Donovan Rossa, Argideen Rangers and St. James before losing the semi-final to Tadhg MacCárthaigh.

Newcestown – Arguably the foremost dual club in West Cork, fielding in both senior football and hurling, they have won SW junior A football titles in 1964, 1967 (county champions), 1988 and 1990 (county champions). Their second team won the junior B in 2017 and 2020 but their form depends on promotions to the senior team. Based in the village of Newcestown, last season they lost to O’Donovan Rossa, beat Mathúna’s but lost to St. Mary’s in round 3.

Muintir Bháire – The most western club in junior A, based on the Muintervarra Peninsula, their biggest achievement was winning the county junior B title in 2003. They contested the SW junior A final in 2007, losing to Bandon. Often struggling to survive due to emigration and lack of numbers, they have moved into a fine new headquarters in Durrus. Last season they beat Clann na nGael in round 1 but lost to Bandon in round 3.

Randal Óg – Founded in the early 1950s and situated in the southern part of Dunmanway parish, they were named after a local chieftain, Randal Hurley, whose ruined castle towers over their fine facilities in Ballinacarriga. A small dual club, campaigning mostly in junior B, they are at presently in a golden era having won two county junior football titles last season, a Munster title, and contesting two hurling finals. Promoted to junior A this season, much interest will centre on how their young side copes in junior A. Awarded Club of the Year in Carbery in 2021.

Prediction – Carbery Rangers to win the group with Randal Óg shading second.


Bandon Co-op Junior B Football Championship 2022

Roinn 1

O’Donovan Rossa – All-Ireland senior football club champions in 1993, Rossa’s - based in Rossa Park, Skibbereen - campaign mostly in junior A with their second team but were regraded to B this season. They will hope to add to their two SW junior B titles, won in 1955 and 1963.

Dohenys – Dohenys’ second team were regraded to junior B this season. Operating out of the Sam Maguire Park in Dunmanway, they won their only SW junior B title in 2015.

Goleen – The only junior B football club in Carbery at the end of 2021 before regrading took place this season, based on the Mizen Peninsula and waging a great battle for survival, they have won the SW junior B title in 1959, 2011 and 2019, when they contested the county final.

Prediction – O’Donovan Rossa to win the group, with Dohenys second.

Roinn 2

Kilmeen – Strong dual club, based in Rossmore, they were regraded this season and hold  seven SW junior B titles, 1943, 1952, 1962, 1965, 1984, 2013 and 2014. They won the first ever county B football title in 1984.

Diarmuid Ó Mathúna – Based in Castletownkenneigh in the north of Enniskeane Parish, they are a strong dual club, especially in hurling, and have won SW junior football B titles in 2005 and 2012, winning the county title in 2005. Regraded to junior B this season, they have reached the final of this season’s open county junior B championship.

Bantry Blues – The renowned Blues, winners of county football titles in senior, intermediate and junior A,  have only one SW junior B title to their name, in 1974, with their second team. Based in the Wolfe Tone Park in Bantry.

Prediction – Kilmeen to win the group with Mathúna’s in second spot.

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St. Oliver Plunkett’s – Based in Ahiohill in Enniskeane Parish, the “Magpies”  have a fine record in junior B, winning SW titles in 1986, 1990 and 2007, going on to win county titles in the latter two seasons. Regraded to junior B this season.

Ilen Rovers – In their early years their first team won SW junior B titles in 1983 and 1988 before climbing the grades to senior level. Based in Church Cross and Baltimore, their second team has campaigned in junior B for the past couple of seasons.

Clann na nGael – Based in Drimoleague and also taking in Drinagh, the “Scorchers” have campaigned mostly in junior A, winning four SW titles, but were regraded to junior B this season. They won SW junior B titles in 1977 and 2005, winning the county title, and will be anxious to bounce straight back to junior A.

Prediction – Plunkett’s to win the group, with Clann na nGael taking second place.  

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