Mixed fortunes for local clubs
North Cork sides have had mixed fortunes over the last four months with few of the local sides fulfilling their pre-season ambitions and some of the more established clubs suffering the most.
The only local side in the J1, Muskerry, have had a tough time of late after starting their season with a host of superb wins that saw them well in contention at the business end of the table however the second part of the campaign has seen them slip to sixth in the table.
Muskerry are still performing at a very credible level and last Sunday they produced another very impressive display - drawing 20-20 away to Old Christians. The battle at Rathcooney was a nip-and-tuck affair right from the off with neither side prepared to give an inch for the duration.
John Chambers and Pat Rourke set Muskerry on their way in the first half hour with a try apiece. Jonathon Buckley added the extra points on both occasions while also adding a brace of penalties.
The home side hit back with tries from Paddy Naughton and Darragh Daly. The boot of Sean Meaney matched his opposite number with two conversions and two penalties to split the points between two deserving sides.
Next up is another away trip for the mid-Cork side as they head to Limerick to take on Galbally. This is a very important game for Muskerry as a win will be definitely on their radar with a loss ending any realistic chance of a top two spot.
Mallow got their year off to the best possible start last Sunday taking on and defeating an Abbeyfeale side that have impressed many this season. The west Limerick side came to St Joseph's road with genuine aspirations of garnering another win as Mallow have been a little inconsistent since the campaign began four months ago.
For their part, Mallow still harbour hopes of taking second spot in the J2 but would be fully aware that they can't afford another slip up till season's end, so with that in mind, it was no surprise then to see the boys in green and black fronting up to Abbeyfeale all over the pitch and deservedly taking the spoils.
Tries from Conor O'Donovan, Denis Murphy and Michael O'Flynn, did the damage or the home side with O'Flynn adding two of the three conversion attempts. Pat Brislane showed Abbeyfeale have plenty of fighting spirit with his side's only try with Tom Hassett adding the extras and David Collins kicking two penalties.
The win sees Mallow maintain their challenge in fifth spot - eight points off the all-important second place but level on points with Castleisland in fourth.
There was only one game in the J3 last weekend with Charleville entertaining Fermoy on Sunday afternoon. The home side have been one of the most impressive sides in the J3 this season so this was always going to be a tough ask for a Fermoy side that have shown plenty of late.
This one went the way of the form book with Charleville taking the game by 20-6. Tries from Damian Leahy, Mattie O'Neill and Tony Moffatt added to a conversion and penalty by Shane Corkery meant that Charleville are now in pole position to grab one of the two promotion places on offer.
Fermoy responded with a brace of penalties from Mike Sweeney, however, their lack of potency near the Charleville try line meant they were always going to struggle to take the points.
Both sides will be out again next weekend with Fermoy taking on Fethard & District, while Charleville hit the road to take on Killorglin.
Both games will be tough for the respective Cork sides however wins in both games are not only desirable but necessary if both teams are to maintain their promotion challenges.
Sunday, January 11
Fermoy v Fethard & District
Scariff v Charleville
Youghal v Mallow
Galbally v Muskerry