Three key match-ups

Ger McCarthy takes us through the key matchups ahead of the West Cork derby this Sunday.
Three key match-ups

WE MEET AGAIN: Luke Meade, Newcestown, joined Fionn Herlihy, Dohenys with Marc Sheehan, Cork County Chairperson at Páirc Uí Chaoimh ahead of the Bon Secours Cork Senior A Football Championship final. Pic: Alison Miles / OSM PHOTO

Donal Rice (Dohenys) v David Buckley (Newcestown)

Dohenys defender Donal Rice will most likely be tasked with keeping an eye on Newcestown’s top scorer in this season’s senior A football championship.

0-28 points from five SAFC outings underlines David Buckley’s eye for goal, not least from placed balls. Curbing Buckley’s influence as well as not conceding unnecessary frees will be key to Dohenys gaining a second consecutive senior A championship victory over their West Cork rivals.

Rice does a lot of unseen work in a tough tackling full-back line alongside Sean Daly and Jerry Farrell. 

A tight marker, Rice’s ability to accurately distribute the ball will be as important as his patrolling of one of Newcestown’s most potent attacking weapons.

Rhys Coakley (Dohenys) v Luke Meade (Newcestown)

Cork senior inter-county hurler Luke Meade had been a constant in the centre of the pitch throughout Newcestown’s run to this year’s SAFC county final.

Dropping deep to provide extra cover for his team’s half-back line, Meade’s ability to slow things down as much as his kick-starting of swift counter-attacks is something Dohenys will need to be wary of.

Standing opposite Meade in the centre of Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be one of Dohenys' most improved players in 2023. 

Rhys Coakley has been a mainstay in the Dunmanway club’s middle third and popped up with some important scores. Coakley’s late goal in the final group win over Ilen Rovers turned the game in Dohenys’ favour and helped cement an automatic semi-final berth.

Colm O’Shea (Dohenys) v Cian Twomey (Newcestown)

Kerry import Colm O’Shea has proven hugely influential since donning the Dohenys jersey for the first time back in 2021. Stationed on the edge of the square, the 33-year-old forward’s ability to win primary possession and create space for the likes of Mark Buckley, Shane Barry, Keith White and Aidan O’Donovan has been crucial in Dohenys run to the final.

Even more importantly, O’Shea has contributed 0-18 and provided his adopted club with another accurate free-taker.

Newcestown full-back Cian Twomey has his hands full on Saturday but will relish the opportunity. 

Twomey faced O’Shea earlier in the campaign and is part of a defensive core that restricted Kanturk to 1-7 and Newmarket to 0-10 en route to the county final.

A collection of the latest sports news, reports and analysis from Cork.

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