BY GER McCARTHY
CLONAKILTY and Newcestown will renew rivalries when the West Cork clubs clash in the Cork SFC for the second year in a row in Dunmanway this weekend.
Saturday evening’s derby sees the Carbery sides returning to the scene of last year’s second round meeting in which Clonakilty edged a cracking encounter 1-15 to 1-13 after extra-time.
Naturally, the Brewery Town will be hoping for a similar outcome as that championship win was the catalyst for a run that took Clon to the quarter-finals of the 2018 Cork SFC. If fit, inter-county players Sean White, Mark White, Liam O’Donovan, Thomas Clancy and David Lowney are expected to play huge roles and give Colm Aherne’s side the edge.
For Clonakilty’s Martin Scally, being part of a squad that enjoyed a prolonged championship run was hugely important to a youthful set-up’s development.
‘We have been in transition for the last number of years so it was a big thing for the younger fellas including the likes of myself to get a couple of senior championship wins under our belts last year,’ Scally said.
‘It meant a lot to the team and the people of Clonakilty. It was good to have a nice buzz around the town again. Then, we went on and we beat Bishopstown and people began wondering if this Clonakilty team could do something in the championship.
‘Carbery Rangers beat us after that but it was the first time we got to a county quarter-final in a long time. It was the first time we beat somebody other than Aghada or St Nick’s and very important for us to get those wins at senior championship level.’
Newcestown will have little fear of a team they pushed to the limit in the last year’s championship so an equally close encounter is anticipated on Saturday. The dual club maintained their senior status with a narrow victory over Aghada following last year’s loss to Clonakilty and will want to avoid the backdoor route this time around, especially with another derby against Bandon in the opening round of the Cork senior hurling championship looming large on the horizon.
Scally and his teammates have no intention of underestimating a Newcestown side they know well so another full-blooded West Cork derby is anticipated.
‘It doesn’t really matter that we are playing Newcestown again because at the end of the day, you have to beat whatever team is put in front of you if you want to lift the Andy Scannell,’ Scally noted.
‘We were not worrying about who we played in the first round and just got on with training when the draw was made. We played Newcestown last year and beat them after extra-time by two points. You will always get a tough game against them. They will always bring that level of physicality and aggressiveness but it is senior championship and you get a tough team in the first round no matter what.’
The clocks have gone forward and the longer evenings have finally arrived which can only mean one thing – the lawn mowers are out. A wealth of knowledge is on hand at Bandon Co-Op’s three stores in Bandon, Enniskeane and Kinsale thanks to each of their in-store experts who are there to share their vast experience