County Championships: Premier Intermediate Hurling 2013-06-01 07:18:00

Check out our complete set of Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship Previews...

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Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship

Clubs Involved: Ballincollig, Ballyhea, Bandon, Blarney, Carrigaline, Castlelyons, Cloyne, Inniscarra, Kilbrittain, Kilworth, Mallow, Newcestown, Tracton, Valley Rovers, Watergrasshill, Youghal

In: Kilworth (Intermediate Champions 2012), Cloyne (Relegated from Senior)

Out: Ballinhassig (Premier Champions 2012), Aghabullogue (Relegated)

County Final 2012: Ballinhassig 1-19 Bandon 1-15

*For all 2012 and 2013 results, see the Competitions link above  

Recent Winners

2012 Ballinhassig (Runners-up: Bandon)
2011 Courcey Rovers (Runners-up: Youghal)
2010 Ballymartle (Runners-up: Tracton)
2009 Douglas (Runners-up: Ballymartle)
2008 Blarney (Runners-up: Courcey Rovers)

*For full Rolls of Honour for all County competitions, see the History section above.


Saturday June 1st
@ Kilworth, Premier I.H.C. Carrigaline v Ballyhea, 7.30p.m.
@ Ballincollig, Premier I.H.C. Newcestown v Blarney, 7.30 p.m.
Sunday June 2nd 
@ Carrigtwohill, Premier I.H.C. Youghal v Valley Rovers, 2.30 p.m
@ Páirc Uí Rinn, Premier I.H.C. Cloyne v Kilbrittain, 2.30p.m. - Live on C103
@ Páirc Uí Rinn, Premier I.H.C. Mallow v Tracton, 4.15 p.m. - Live on C103
@ Newcestown, Premier I.H.C. Inniscarra v Bandon, 3.30 p.m.
@ Caherlag, Premier I.H.C. Castlelyons v Ballincollig, 7.30p.m.
@ Rathcormac, Premier I.H.C. Kilworth v Watergrasshill, 3p.m.

Seamus Long Cup
A Founder member of the Ballinora GAA club , Seamus Long and his family were steeped in the GAA and have been credited with the setting up of Divisional Boards. He was Principal of Ballinora school from 1913 to 1951 and elected secretary of Ballincollig club in 1914. He was the first secretary of the Muskerry Board in 1924, the founding Chairman of the Ballinora club in the same year , was Vice-Chairman of Cork County Board from from 1940 to 1946 and was Munster Cuncil Delegate from 1949  until his death in 1953.

Previews (by Denis Hurley)

Manager: Diarmuid Falvey

Captain: Domhnall O'Sullivan

Colours: Red and black hooped jersey, black shorts, red and black hooped socks

First-round opponents: Kilbrittain


2012 Championship: Lost to Bride Rovers in SHC relegation play-off

2012 League: Fourteenth in SHL

Star Man: Diarmuid O'Sullivan

One to Watch: Dillon Cahill

Players In: Killian Cronin, Donal Óg Cusack, Jordan Sherlock, Stephen Beausang

Players Out: Paudie O'Sullivan

The side relegated from senior level always come in for more scrutiny than many of their rivals, and when Paudie O'Sullivan broke his leg Cloyne must have felt that their luck was really out.

Their response has been more than impressive, however, most notably including a 9-11 to 1-14 league win over Carrigaline, with Diarmuid O'Sullivan a serious threat at full-forward.

O'Sullivan aside, their attack is littered with fine players, such as Conor Cusack, Domhnall O'Sullivan and Dillon Cahill.

Being able to include Donal Óg Cusack and Killian Cronin, who missed last year through injury, helps to bolster the defence, and if they get over Kilbrittain they will be a team others will want to avoid.



Manager: Brendan Driscoll

Captain: TBC

Colours: Black and amber hooped jersey, black shorts, black and amber socks

First-round opponents: Cloyne


2012 Championship: Lost to Ballyhea in fourth round

2012 League: Seventh in Division 2

Star Man: Ross Cashman

One to Watch: Chris Hickey

Players In: -

Players Out: Paddy Ryan, David McSweeney

It could be argued that Kilbrittain over-achieved by reaching the semi-finals in 2011 following their promotion the previous year, but having done that, losing in round four will have disappointed them last year.

They are a largely young side, albeit not without experience and with a good underage track record, but the challenge that Cloyne present will something new for many of them.

If Maurice Sexton and Jamie Wall can link well in attack then they will have a good chance, but avoiding the concession of goals will be vitally important.



Manager: Christy Cooney

Captain: TBC

Colours: Maroon jersey with gold trim, white shorts, maroon socks

First-round opponents: Valley Rovers


2012 Championship: Lost to Bandon in semi-final

2012 League: Seventh in Division 1

Star Man: Brendan Ring

One to Watch: Dale O'Donoghue

Players In: Bill Cooper, Leigh Desmond

Players Out: -

Going on form in recent years, losing the 2011 final to Courcey Rovers and then reaching the last four last year, Youghal have to be considered as being among the favourites, even if the manner of the defeat to Bandon in 2012 will have disappointed them.

When they are on form, there are few other intermediate sides who can live with Youghal, such is the strength of their attack, with the Brendans, Ring and Coleman, Brett Moloney and the returning Bill Cooper and Leigh Desmond all excellent hurlers.

Former GAA President Christy Cooney has taken the reins of his hometown club, and once football commitments don't interfere, they will surely be in the mix in September/October.



Manager: John O'Donovan

Captain: Chris O'Donovan

Colours: Green and white hooped jersey, white shorts, green socks

First-round opponents: Youghal


2012 Championship: Lost to Inniscarra in quarter-final

2012 League: Third in Division 2

Star Man: Eamonn Collins

One to Watch: John Cottrell

Players In: David Lynch, Kevin Canty, Fiachra Lynch

Players Out: -

An opening-round meeting with Youghal represents a chance for Valleys to exorcise the demons of the disappointing quarter-final loss of 2011, and the Innishannon side go in bolstered by the return of players who had been absent.

League performances have been up and down, but there is no doubt that they have the capabilities to have a sustained run, especially as they were so close to reaching last year's semi-finals, only losing to a late Inniscarra goal.

Seánie O'Brien is on board as coach and he has a good track record, so Valleys will hope that some of his magic can rub off.



Manager: Con Lawlor

Captain: Ciarán McGann

Colours: Green jersey with gold hoop, white shorts, green and gold socks

First-round opponents: Ballincollig


2012 Championship: Lost to Bandon in fourth round

2012 League: Fifth in Division 2

Star Man: Ciarán McGann

One to Watch: Anthony Spillane

Players In: -

Players Out: -

Following their relegation from senior in 2009, Castlelyons had to endure a period of consolidation at this level, but the level of emerging talent has left them with reason for optimism looking ahead again.

Colm Barry, Colm Spillane, Michael Spillane, Ronan Fenton and Anthony Spillane are just some of the names to excite supporters of the Imokilly club, and they will look forward to their clash with Ballincollig as a chance to lay down a marker.

Experience is provided by Timmy McCarthy and Ciarán McGann while Leo Sexton is a strong presence at midfield.



Manager: Donal Hannigan

Captain: Colin Harris

Colours: Green jersey with white trim, white shorts, green socks

First-round opponents: Castlelyons


2012 Championship: Lost to Carrigaline in fourth round

2012 League: Sixth in Division 1

Star Man: Ciarán O'Sullivan

One to Watch: Cian Dorgan

Players In: Fergal Moloney

Players Out: Kealan Hickey, Brian Cotter

After reaching the quarter-finals in 2008 and the semi-finals the following year, instead of continuing the progression and reaching a final Ballincollig have had three consecutive campaigns end in the fourth round.

A large turnover of players, coupled with senior football interest taking priority, have been factors, but it says a lot about the strength of the club that relegation has never been anything approaching a possibility.

Though missing a couple this year, emigration has not been a massive factor for them this time around and though league performances have been inconsistent, with a full squad available they can make like difficult for opposition.


Manager: Ray Glynn

Captain: Fionn O'Neill

Colours: Red jersey with yellow trim, white shorts, red socks

First-round opponents: Tracton


2012 Championship: Lost to Blarney in fourth round

2012 League: Second in Division 3

Star Man: Cormac Murphy

One to Watch: Aaron Sheehan

Players In: Killian O'Connor, Padraig Buckley

Players Out: Denis Hayes, Joseph Hayes, Kevin Sheehan, Diarmuid Kerrisk, Clive Kerrisk

The North Cork side have suffered heavily with the loss of players through a combination of retirements, emigration and injuries over the winter, making them very much a team in transition.

That does create an opportunity for younger players to establish them in the panel, though obviously the first priority will be to ensure that premier status is assured.

Mallow do have a good record in that regard, but there will be a lot riding on the Tracton game, especially as the losers must play Inniscarra or Bandon.



Manager: Pádraig Ó Raghallaigh

Captain: Micheál Browne

Colours: Red and green hooped jersey, white shorts, red and green socks

First-round opponents: Mallow


2012 Championship: Lost to Youghal in fourth round

2012 League: Eighth in Division 1

Star Man: Michael O'Sullivan

One to Watch: John Good.

Players In: -

Players Out: -

Since reaching the final in 2010, Tracton have struggled to challenge since then, with Youghal ending their interests at the last-14 stage on each occasion.

The current squad is largely the same as that which reached the decider, however, so there is plenty of experience there and they will look at the first-round clash with Mallow as a great chance to build some momentum ahead of the summer, building on their current table-topping form in Division 1.

Seventeen-year-old John Good could provide a bit of x-factor, and as 2010 proved, a run of games could do wonders for the Minane Bridge side.



Manager: Seán Twomey

Captain: TBC

Colours: Red and yellow hooped jersey, white shorts, red and yellow socks

First-round opponents: Blarney


2012 Championship: Lost to Ballinhassig in fourth round

2012 League: Fifth in Division 1

Star Man: Eoin Kelly

One to Watch: Trevor Horgan

Players In: -

Players Out: -

Newcestown go into the hurling championship buoyed by the senior football win over St Vincent's, meaning that there are no worries about an upcoming back-door game hindering their preparations.

Squad numbers are limited, as always, but Newcestown are lucky that the bulk of their panels are skilled in both sports and, under the management of Eddie Murphy, they will definitely be challenging.

Will be favourites to progress past Blarney and into the fourth round, and thereafter a lot will depend on how fixture commitments fall.



Manager: Michael O'Mahony

Captain: Joe Jordan

Colours: Red jersey with white trim, white shorts, red socks

First-round opponents: Newcestown


2012 Championship: Lost to Youghal in quarter-final

2012 League: Ninth in Division 1

Star Man: Peter O'Driscoll

One to Watch: Shane Mulcahy

Players In: -

Players Out: Brian Hurley, Trevor Hegarty, James O'Sullivan

Since winning the intermediate All-Ireland title in 2009, Blarney have haemorrhaged players, and now just five of the side which began on that historic day in Croke Park still remain.

Brian Hurley's absence from midfield could prove costly for them, though the half-back line of Joe Jordan, James Hughes and Mark O'Leary remains, giving them a solid foundation.

The ability to run up big scores will be a challenge, however, and they are likely to come up against sides with greater firepower. Shouldn't haven any relegation worries, though.



Manager: Declan Walsh

Captain: Brian Tobin

Colours: Red jersey with white trim, white shorts, red socks

First-round opponents: Watergrasshill


2012 Championship: Beat Kanturk in IHC final

2012 League: Second in Division 1

Star Man: Adrian Mannix

One to Watch: Michael Wade

Players In: -

Players Out: Padraig Lynch, Kieran Lane

After what seemed like an age trying to get out of the lower intermediate grade, including plenty of heartbreak in the closing stages, things finally all came together for Kilworth last year as they overcame Kanturk in the final.

Injuries to Pádraig Lynch and Kieran Lane mean their squad is a little bit lighter ahead of the opener against Watergrasshill, while key attacker Adrian Mannix is also a doubt. Against that, though, they will carry the momentum of last year and getting over the first hurdle, and focusing on progress rather than fearing an immediate return, would really settle them.



Manager: Ciarán O'Neill

Captain: Noel O'Riordan

Colours: Red jersey with white trim, white shorts, red socks

First-round opponents: Kilworth


2012 Championship: Beat Aghabullogue in relegation play-off

2012 League: Eleventh in Division 1

Star Man: John Halbert

One to Watch: Kevin O'Neill

Players In: Moss Barry, John Halbert, Kevin O'Neill, Dara O'Callaghan

Players Out: -

Last year, just five years after almost reaching senior level as they lost a gripping final to Carrigtwohill, Watergrasshill needed to overcome Aghabullogue in the relegation play-off to preserve their status, having done the same against Argideen Rangers in 2011.

The upside of that is that anything else - apart from relegation - would represent an improvement and the Hill are cheered by the return of John Halbert, who will provide a big presence in attack.

Cork dual star Kevin O'Neill is also likely to catch the eye over the summer, and with no absentees from last year they will look to make a favourable impression.


Manager: John Coleman

Captain: Aidan O'Connor

Colours: Black and white hooped jersey, white shorts, black and white socks

First-round opponents: Carrigaline


2012 Championship: Lost to Ballinhassig in quarter-final

2012 League: Won Division 2

Star Man: Neil Ronan

One to Watch: Pa O'Callaghan

Players In: -

Players Out: -

Last year represented progress for Ballyhea as they got beyond the fourth round, which had been a glass ceiling of sorts in recent years, but while getting to the last eight will have been heartening, they will know that they had a chance of overcoming Ballinhassig.

That the south-east side, who won that game by four points, went on to win the title will leave Ballyhea feeling that they have it in them to go further, and they will be favourites to see off Carrigaline in the opening round.

In Neil Ronan and Pa O'Callaghan, they have two blue-chip attackers at different stages on the experience curve, and if those two link well then opponents will find them difficult to deal with.



Manager: Tony Barry

Captain: Stephen Corcoran

Colours: Blue jersey with gold hoop, blue shorts, blue socks

First-round opponents: Ballyhea


2012 Championship: Lost to Bandon in quarter-final

2012 League: Third in Division 1

Star Man: Robert O'Shea

One to Watch: Kevin O'Connell

Players In: -

Players Out: Joe Moran, Tony Murphy, Geoff Dillon, Gary Harrington, Brian Irwin

Though it did not end with any silverware, 2012 was a good year for Carrigaline, with a series of solid performances in league and championship having established them among the top tier of premier intermediate sides.

Over the winter, however, they have suffered with the loss of players through emigration and retirement, and they are also set to lose marquee forwards David Drake and Simon O'Brien after the first round.

If they do beat Ballyhea, then at least the pressure will be off in terms of preservation of status, but a Ballyhea win might make things nervy.



Manager: Teddy McCarthy

Captain: James O'Donovan

Colours: White jersey with yellow trim, white shorts, yellow socks

First-round opponents: Inniscarra

Bandon GAA

2012 Championship: Lost to Ballinhassig in final

2012 League: Fourth in Division 1

Star Man: Mark Sugrue

One to Watch: Michael Cahalane

Players In: -

Players Out: Donough Lucey, Jason McCarthy

Having finally escaped the intermediate A grade in 2011 after final defeats in 2007 and '08, Bandon carried their fine form into the premier championship, getting all the way to the final only to fall against what was an excellent Ballinhassig team.

Looking at recent history, Bandon can take solace from the fact that Courcey Rovers and Ballymartle recovered from PIHC final losses to claim the title, though reaching a third final in a row will be a big task.

Centre-back Donough Lucey will miss the first round but should be back for later in the campaign, while a young and swift attack will definitely pose big problems for opponents.



Manager: Liam Linehan

Captain: John O'Callaghan

Colours: Blue and white hooped jersey, white shorts, blue and white socks

First-round opponents: Bandon


2012 Championship: Lost to Ballinhassig in semi-final

2012 League: Tenth in Division 1

Star Man: John O'Callaghan

One to Watch: Paul Farmer

Players In: Paul Farmer, Tomás O'Connor, Seán O'Donogue, David O'Keeffe, David Barry

Players Out: Aidan O'Mahony, Conor Buckley

While 2011 was a disappointment, Inniscarra responded well last year to get to the semi-finals, but there they received a lesson as a much-stronger Ballinhassig saw them off.

Aidan O'Mahony, whose free-taking was a huge asset, has relocated to Dublin and is now playing his hurling there so he is a loss, but the Muskerry side do at least have the consolation of the injection of a few younger players from the minor grades.

Though it will be a difficult assignment, they will at least know that the clash with Bandon will tell them much about how they are faring.


Tomorrow we start our Senior previews!!!




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