Bantry Blues v Newmarket (Saturday 7.15pm at Macroom) NEWMARKET suffered three defeats on the trot before avoiding the drop to intermediate ranks by virtue of a victory over Glanmire last year.
Still, they pushed Kiskeam, Clyda Rovers and Glenville all the way, so they weren't too far off the pace, and they could prove a handful for a Bantry Blues side that – narrowly defeated by Mallow in a quarter-final replay in 2010 – will most likely be forced to plan without the injured Graham Canty.
Verdict: Newmarket Ballinora v Kiskeam (Saturday 7.15pm at Clondrohid) BOTH Ballinora and Kiskeam won their opening games last year, accounting for Bantry and Newmarket respectively. Ballinora later bowed out to eventual champions Newcestown, while Kiskeam fell to highly rated St Vincent's, so the indications are that there isn't a whole lot between them
Verdict: Kiskeam Naomh Aban v Clyda Rovers (Saturday 7.15pm at Dromtarriffe) CLYDA Rovers lost their opening game against the eventual champions Valley Rovers in 2009 and Newcestown in 2010. But they still qualified for the last two finals, and they could have what it takes to make a positive start this time, especially since Naomh Aban, relegated from senior last year, are unlikely to be brimming with confidence at the moment.
Verdict: Clyda Rovers Ballingeary v Carrigaline (Saturday 7.15pm at Newcestown) AFTER losing their first two games against Nemo Rangers and Mallow, Carrigaline, promoted from intermediate ranks in 2009, kept their aspirations alive last year by shading the issue in a third round clash with Glanmire that went to extra-time.
They got the better of Glenville in a replay after that, but their luck ran out in a quarter final encounter with title-winners Newcestown which also went to two games. They will be hoping things will be a bit more straightforward this year, but they will get nothing soft from Ballingeary, who finished just two points adrift of Grenagh in a fourth round replay in 2010.
Verdict: Carrigaline Nemo Rangers v St Vincent's (Sunday 3.30pm at Pairc Ui Rinn) NEMO'S second string are normally at their most dangerous in the early stages of the champiAerial battle for supremacy in midfield as Hurl Dockry, Mallow and Bantry's Graham Canty and Mike during their clash in last year's Premier Intermediate Football Championship onship, but St Vincent's have been knocking hard on the door in the premier intermediate grade for the past three years.
They won the title in 2006, and, after spending just one season in the top flight, they contested another final in 2008, going under to the Barrs in a replay.
They have lost consecutive semi-finals to Clyda Rovers since then, bowing out to the Mourneabbey side after a replay in 2010.
Verdict: St Vincent's Mallow v Glenville (Sunday 7pm at Ballyhoo ley) AFTER losing to St Vincent's in the first round, Mallow enjoyed a good run last year before their hopes of making a swift return to senior ranks were dashed by Newcestown in the semi-final. Glenville's form wasn't as convincing in 2010, with their only win from five outings coming at the expense of Newmarket in the third round.
Verdict: Mallow Grenagh v Macroom (Sunday 2.30pm at Donoughmore) THE momentum gained from last year's county intermediate triumph could be a key factor in tilting a mouth-watering Mid-Cork derby clash in favour of Macroom.
With three Cork senior panelists – Fintan Goold, David Goold and Sean Kiely – on board, they look well-equipped to make a bold bid for the laurels.
But Grenagh, eliminated by Clyda Rovers in a quarter final replay in 2010, have invariably competed well in this grade since lifting the intermediate crown four years ago. They enjoyed a comfortable semi final win over Macroom en route to tasting county success in 2007, and they will certainly be no soft touch