Like the county hurling championship, Cork’s football final will be an all-city affair between Munster champions St Finbarr’s and Nemo Rangers.
The great rivals are facing each other in the final for the first time since 2017 when their meeting went to replay. The clubs also met in 2010 and 1993, both games won by Nemo, who are this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first Cork senior title.
They eased to the final after a well-contested first half against Ballincollig. A penalty converted by Luke Connolly was part of a flood of scores that left them 10-point winners, 1-16 to 0-9.
The champions’ St Finbarr’s progress was a lot more uncertain until they pulled away with goals in the 48th and 56th minutes by Stephen Sherlock and Brian Hayes and despite a Castlehaven rally, the Barrs ran out winners, 2-17 to 1-16.
This keeps them on course for the double with their hurlers in a first county final since 1993. They will have the Cahalanes, who opposed them in Sunday’s football, back on board for the hurling final.
There was a serious breakthrough victory in Offaly hurling with a first ever county title for Shinrone, who were back in the county final for the first time since 1960.
Former All-Ireland finalists Kilcormac-Killoughey, chasing a fifth championship in 11 years, had enough chances in the first half to establish control but hit a dozen wides, including couple of goal chances for Alex Cavanagh.
The winners had substantial hauls for Ciarán Cleary (0-5) and Killian and captain Jason Sampson (0-4 each) and responded well to two second-half goals from the favourites to record a famous 0-26 to 2-13 victory.
Meanwhile, Leinster champions and All-Ireland finalists Ballyhale Shamrocks had a convincing win over Clara in their postponed Kilkenny quarter-final, winning by double scores, 1-27 to 0-15 with county forward Adrian Mullen contributing 1-7. They will face Tullaroan in next Saturday’s semi-final in UPMC Nowlan Park.
The side they defeated in last year’s Leinster final, Clough-Ballacolla, took a third successive title in Laois, winning 1-24 to 0-16. A goal from Willie Dunphy was part of an unanswered 1-5 before half-time after which the champions never looked threatened.
In Westmeath Castletown Geoghegan regained the hurling title after five years, defeating Clonkill, who were chasing a fourth win in five years.
In Mayo football, the champions of the past two years, Knockmore, were defeated in the county quarter-finals by Castlebar Mitchels on Sunday. A sustained, late attack by the holders ended with an Aidan Orme shot tailing wide and Castlebar emerging asw winners, 0-12 to 0-11.
The town team join Westport, Ballina Stephenites and Ballintubber in the last four.
Ballintubber, with Cillian O’Connor starting, had a lively contest with neighbours Breaffy. Things looked bleak for them when Jason Gibbons got a second yellow card within 10 minutes of the second half starting and with the scores level but Breaffy never pushed on despite the advantage.
A goal from Ciarán Gavin in the 54th minute sealed the deal but Breaffy battled to the end, which was a 0-14 to 2-11 defeat. Ballintubber will play Ballina in the semi-finals with Westport taking on Castlebar.
Last year’s epic double champions in Tipperary, Loughmore-Castleiney, lost their football title to Upperchurch in Sunday’s county semi-final, following the exit of their hurlers last weekend.
One of the clubs still on course for a double are Derry perennials Slaughtneil, who a week after winning a 10th hurling title, moved smoothly into the football semi-finals with a comfortable win over Swatragh in Saturday’s quarter-final.