Sports

Senior Hurling Championship Back In Action This Weekend

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Senior Hurling Championship Back In Action This Weekend thumbnailEoin Quinlan of Lusmagh will be a key man for his side against Birr on Sunday. OH17-20538

THE second round of the Molloy Environmental Systems Senior Hurling Championship takes centre stage this weekend with six games down for decision across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Last Saturday saw the deferred clash of Kilcormac/Killoughey and Coolderry take place with K/K advancing on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-15. All the other games took place two weeks ago with Kinnitty setting out their stall with a win over Birr being the standout result.
In such a competitive championship, there are more tight games ahead this weekend with teams looking to go into the extended championship break with a bit of momentum.
GROUP 1
Coolderry v Kinnitty - Saturday 30th April - Birr - 6.30pm
With Kinnitty on the crest of a wave and Coolderry seeking a win before the break, both sides have a lot to play for. Kinnitty were fully deserving winners last time out against Birr and they also beat Coolderry in the group stages last year, so confidence won't be a problem there.
Coolderry fell short of K/K by three points but showed that they will have a say before the year is out. They had their chances but fell short in the end. Brian Carroll started at midfield before being brought up to the forward division.
Another game with plenty on the line and plenty of history.
Verdict: Coolderry
Kilcormac/Killoughey v Shamrocks - Sunday 1st May - O'Connor Park - 1.30pm
Fresh from their win over Coolderry last weekend, K/K will be straight back down to business on Sunday when they take on a Shamrocks side that were very disappointing in their opening round loss to Lusmagh.
K/K go into the game as massive favourites with some serious firepower and a strength all over the field.
Nigel Dunne and Ciaran Slevin will be the main marksmen for both sides but K/K look to have more scoring power around their main man.
Shamrocks should have a kick in them following their opening round defeat and the fact that it is a local derby but K/K will still have too much.
Verdict: Kilcormac/Killoughey.
Birr v Lusmagh - Sunday 1st May - Rath - 1.30pm.
Birr are under pressure already having lost their opening round game. They will be hotly fancied to beat Lusmagh but Lusmagh are a side improving as the years go on. They showed character to beat Shamrocks despite being down to 14 men for the majority of the game and have some super young hurlers.
All the pressure is on Birr here and they will need their big players to step up the plate.
Paul Cleary will Captain Birr against the club he managed last year while Emmet Nolan, Brendan Murphy and Sean Ryan will really need to lead from the front.
A Lusmagh win is very possible and wouldn't be a major surprise to this reporter but Birr should just edge it.
Verdict: Birr.
GROUP 2
Belmont v Seir Kieran - Friday 29th April - Lusmagh - 7.15pm
This one has the potential to be the game of the weekend. Two teams that are attacking in nature and well able to rack up the scores.
Seir Kieran got a massive boost with the return of Joe Bergin in their opening round win over Shinrone while Belmont fell to a disappointing defeat to County champions St Rynagh's.
Just one of numerous games hard to call, the game is finely balanced and recent encounters have shown that there is very little between them at the final whistle more often than not.
Belmont really need a win while two wins from two would be a massive fillip for Seir Kieran going into the break.
Verdict: Belmont.
Shinrone v Tullamore - Friday 29th April - Kilcormac - 7.15pm
Another game with plenty on the line. A game both would have targeted at the outset of the year but Shinrone come into it with a loss while Tullamore had a win over Clodiagh Gaels in their local derby.
Shane Dooley fired 2-9 in that win and his form looks back to its best. Shinrone's capability to mark Dooley will play a massive part in the outcome while at the other end, Tullamore will fell that if they can get a handle on Sean Cleary, they have a great chance of picking up the points.
Verdict: Shinrone
St Rynagh's v Clodiagh Gaels - Sunday 1st May - Kilcormac - 6.15pm
This one sees the meeting of last years senior and intermediate champions and it looks to be a massive ask for Clodiagh Gaels. Well beaten by Tullamore in the opening round, they will make the step up in class to face the reigning champions who beat Belmont in the opening round.
Liam Langton and Dwayne Dunne will lead the charge for the 'Gaels' while Rynagh's look a well balanced outfit again this year with plenty of firepower.
There is no such thing as a sure thing and Clodiagh Gaels can go into the game and have a real go but Rynagh's should be too strong.
Verdict: St Rynagh's

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