BY DENIS HURLEY
ILEN Rovers manager Edward Sheehy believes that leaving July free of club action would be of greater benefit than the current uncertain situation.
Ilen' SFC round 3 clash with Avondhu in Macroom on Saturday evening (7pm) comes exactly ten weeks after their last outing, a round 2B win over St Nicholas.
The draw for this game was only made on July 31st, leaving little in the way of preparation.
âWe've played league and challenge games,' Sheehy says, âbut it's difficult when you don't know when you'll play in the championship.
âWe were told mid-July first and then the start of August, but with the two Cork teams involved, you might be better off giving teams the whole of July off.
âIt's hard to peak at the right time.'
While Stephen Leonard is back in training after missing the round 1 replay loss to Carbery and then the win over Nick's, he isn't in contention to start. Daniel O'Driscoll is out for the season and David Coughlan has departed for Dubai with work.
In the 2016 championship, Avondhu provided Ilen's first opposition, with the North Cork division triumphing by 4-16 to 0-6 in the preliminary round in Coachford.
âWe haven't spoken specifically about that game,' Sheehy says, âwe're just trying to focus on ourselves really.
âWe've a plan to implement on the day and hopefully it'll pay off, but we know how strong a team Avondhu area. They've a lot of good players and they're backboned by two premier intermediate clubs [Fermoy and Mallow].
âWe have good players too though and we'll be ready for the challenge, we'll have to be at our best.'
Elsewhere, there is a Carbery derby as Gabriel Rangers go up against Clonakilty's second team in Castlehaven on Friday night (7.15pm).
Last year's junior champions Gabriels lost to Cill na Martra in the first round but bounced back well with victory against Carrigaline in round 2B. Eddie Goggin, SeÃ¡n Kelleher, Gerard O'Callaghan and Mark Cronin all scored goals in that 5-15 to 1-13 win and the Schull/Ballydehob side's scoring power will be a key asset against Clon.
They too overcame Carrigaline when they encountered them in the opening round and then also lost to Cill na Martra. Liam Cahill was the key man in attack that night, but he is unavailable as he came off the bench against Muskerry in the senior championship while SeÃ¡n White and SeÃ¡n Nagle, who were midfield against Cill na Martra, are similarly unavailable. Eoin Deasy and Jack Cowhig are likely to provide their scores.
In senior action on Friday, Ballincollig go up against Muskerry in Cloughduv at 7.30pm and that's also the start time for Carrigaline v Seandun in PÃ¡irc UÃ Rinn. The other IFC game sees Rockchapel clash with Glanmire in Mallow at 7.30pm.
On Saturday, Ballymartle meet Bishopstown in hurling round 3 in PÃ¡irc UÃ Rinn at 7pm, while Glenville play Ballydesmond at 5pm in the IFC, venue to be decided.