County PIFC semi-final: Fermoy v Naomh Abán, Saturday, October 6, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.45pm
Fermoy and Naomh Abán will face off for a place in the PIFC Final this weekend with both sides well worth a spot in the showpiece game.
Fermoy were despatched from the hurling championship a couple of weeks ago so unlike two years ago when both club sides made it to the final hurdle, this time the club can put all their focus into one team, which is sure to benefit those taking to the field this time round.
Naomh Abán, like the opposition will have all their eggs in this basket and will push hard to get to the top table however all at the Muskerry club will be only too aware that Fermoy pose a serious threat to their ambitions.
From the start of this competition Fermoy have looked really good, seeing off Bantry by three goals on their opening day before well beating newly promoted Kanturk in round 2.
Bantry Blues again provided the opposition in the quarter-final stage and while this one was a lot closer, Fermoy were well worth their three-point win and a place in the last four.
For Naomh Abán, things didn't start as well with a narrow loss to Bandon in Round 1, however, they bounced back with the scalp of Nemo Rangers before seeing off St Vincents the last day to secure their chance at a final berth.
With a player of the undoubted talent of Tomás Clancy leading Fermoy from the middle one can't really look past the Avondhu side to quickly, but Naomh Abán will have a plan to deal with the Cork star and have plenty talent in their own ranks capable of causing damage so they should not be counted out themselves.
Difficult one to call but all things considered to me this one looks like a Fermoy win. There will be nothing in it going down the final straight however Fermoy have been here far too often to let this one go easily and after the disappointment of two years previous when they were within touching distance of two titles and came away with none I suspect they have unfinished business to attend to.
Naomh Abán are no shrinking violets either and are well capable of making it to the final themselves. The Muskerry men have been on the cusp of breakthroughs far too often themselves.
Abán will remember being despatched in 2016 at the quarter-final stage by Fermoy and will want to reverse that result. 2017 ended up being a relegation battle for Naomh Abán however they seem to have put that behind them and stand on the cusp of an impressive turnaround.