Fermoy v St Michaels on Saturday is another appealing contest to keep an eye on this weekend
BON SECOURS COUNTY SAFC
Newmarket v Clyda Rovers
Friday, August 12
A novel contest where Clyda Rovers hope for the bright start and victory over Ilen Rovers is the catalyst for a productive campaign. Adding intrigue is the involvement of former Newmarket player and mentor Barry O’Leary in the Clyda corner, but sits out on this occasion.
Having entered the fray as reigning Premier Intermediate champions, Newmarket were unable to rediscover that form and lacked the power and pace of O'Donovan Rossa in Round 1.
Newmarket's cause wasn't helped by an injury to 'keeper Josh O'Keeffe, though conceding a run of scores including three goals, they gathered themselves, guided by Paddy Browne in addition to the introduction of substitutes Bart Daly and John Ryan brought experience to the side.
Clyda won a tight battle against Ilen Rovers, a pointed free from Daniel O'Callaghan helped divide the sides. A feature of the game saw the introduction of former Cork underage star Conor Corbett, his first touch yielded a goal.
With plenty of experience on board, Clyda look to Paudie Kissane, Eoin Walsh, Conor Flanagan and Cian O'Sullivan to edge this clash.
Verdict: Clyda Rovers
Fermoy v St Michael’s
Saturday, August 13
Group C of the SAFC kicks back into action this weekend after a three-week break – rounds 1 and 2 of the hurling took over since the footballers last got to strut their stuff on the competitive stage, but now it is all about the big ball and some of Cork’s best football clubs going head to head for the ultimate goal of a place at Premier Senior level.
Fermoy kicked off their championship season with a win over Ballincollig on the first day of the season and will head into this week’s Round 2 game with St Michael’s well-aware that a win will yet again see them through to at least the quarter-final stage.
At the back, James Molloy, Greg Lardner and Darragh O’Carroll will likely be strong with former Cork star Tomas Clancy and his midfield partner Garry O’Callaghan key to what Fermoy do on the day.
Pádraig de Roiste and Daniel O’Flynn will also need to be on their respective games if Fermoy are to get the job done – Shane Aherne will have a big say as well.
St Michael’s come into this one in the same boat as the Avondhu side – a win on the opening day and only 60+ minutes away from the safety of the knockout stages.
Adam Hennessey’s goals were important the last day and his attacking prowess will be important for Michael’s again this time round. Peter Cunningham and Tom Lenihan will have a say from the back as will Eric Hegarty from placed balls and open play.
St Michaels are a side with plenty to offer at this level and with most of the team that lost last year’s county final to Mallow still available – St Michael’s will rightfully fancy their chances of going a long way in this season’s competition and that quest for promotion continues against Fermoy.
Speaking of Fermoy, nothing to suggest that the boys in black can’t do the business this weekend either. Fermoy surprised many with their win over Ballincollig last time out and if history has shown us anything it is that when this Fermoy side get the wind in their sails they can dig out the wins.
St Michael’s will be favourites, but Fermoy will fancy this one in the sunshine.
Kiskeam v Beál Ath’n Ghaorthaidh
Saturday, August 13
A live tussle in prospect between two strong football basis where Kiskeam see former coach Denis Reen involved with the Gaeltacht side.
Having disappointed last season, Kiskeam demonstrated their mettle by overcoming Bandon in the opening round. Tomas Dennehy's first half goal divided the sides, Kiskeam held a higher workrate in the opening half, looked fresh and eager for the fra from the driving efforts of A J O’Connor, Shane Carroll, Jack Daly, Thomas Casey and Sean O’Sullivan.
However Kiskeam endured a barrage of pressure in the second half, winning a number of crucial turnovers late in the contest.
Reen guided Kiskeam to county Premier IFC success in 2018, but is in the Beál Ath'n Ghaorthaidh camp on this occasion where outright success in the Comórtas Peil offered the perfect boost ahead of the championship.
They relied on a late free converted by Conchúír Ó Loinsigh to force a draw with Dohenys to a game where Andy Ó Coinceannáin and Donagh Seartan impressed. Not too much expected the pair but Kiskeam may hold the momentum.
Knocknagree v Bishopstown
Sunday, August 14
When the sides clashed last season, Knocknagree put together a well organised and efficient performance, recovering from a nervy spell midway through the opening half, they rose to the challenge in a positive light.
Both sides require significant improvement after round 1 reversals, Knocknagree found bogey side St Michaels a difficult proposition as was a tricky wind and intermittent showers.
Indeed St Michaels utilised the elements in the opening half and two quickfire goals left Knocknagree chasing the contest.
Credit Knocknagree for lifting the siege, their confidence restored once Fintan O'Connor expertly finished to the net. However, they found it difficult to reel the 2022 runners up before a late goal from Michael McSweeney cut the margin cut to three points yet Knocknagree had left themselves with too much to do and time ran out on their efforts.
For Bishopstown they faltered to Fermoy despite the best intentions of Ken O’Halloran, Paul O’Flynn and Jamie O’Sullivan. In a game of considerable importance, Knocknagree are equipped to deliver a win.