Sports

North Tipperary final places up for grabs

Thursday, 17 August 2017

PLACES in the North Tipperary senior hurling final will be up for grabs when the two divisional semi-finals are played next weekend.
On Saturday holders Kiladangan face Nenagh iin Dolla at 6.30p.m. while the second semi-final will take place on Sunday when Borris-Ileigh meet Templederry in Nenagh at 6.30pm
Title holders Kiladangan must take on neighbours Nenagh Eire Og in the first of the semi finals seven days after losing their clash with Loughmore Castleiney in the County Senior Hurling Championship.
The North champions could have no qualms with that result as Loughmore were the better all round side. However that defeat could spell danger for Nenagh Eire Og as Kiladangan have proved time and again that they learn very quickly from defeats and this game will be no exception.
Then again, things aren't very easy for Nenagh Eire Og either as they lost heavily to Thurles Sarsfields last Saturday and after a year of many disappointments - by Nenagh Eire Og standards - they will have to step up on the gas to pull this one through.
This is a local derby and local derbies have a strange way of producing extraordinary results. The sides have met five times in the last ten years with Nenagh winning three and there was one draw. The sides last met at quarter final stage in 2014 with Nenagh claiming victory.
However Kiladangan have won two North titles since then and their hopes for three in a row won't be halted this time round despite the fact that its almost two months since Kiladangan beat Kilruane MacDonaghs in the quarter final. The result was a repeat of last year's North final success and the performance really caught the eye. Meanwhile Nenagh beat Roscrea in their quarter final clash. Then again it is difficult to keep shape during two months of no championship action but when all is said and done it would appear that Kiladangan have enough in the tank to win.
Last year, Templederry beat Borris-Ileigh for the first time in senior hurling. Up to then Borris always had the Indian sign over their neighbours. However the gap has closed sufficiently and both teams have prepared quietly. Borris-Ileigh have really improved and seem to have put the defeat to Kiladangan in the opening round of the county senior hurling championship very much to bed.
Borris beat Toome in the quarter final last June. Not an easy feat.
On the other hand Templederry played in the Seamus O'Riain Cup and are unbeaten in their two games against Silvermines and Moycarkey Borris while unbeaten in the north championship including their quarter final win over Burgess.
Operating in a lower division might suggest that this game will be an hour too far for Templederry but this team if anything they are a team that never know when to give up.
Yet one cannot get over the fact that this Borris-Ileigh team has been improving this season and their win over Upperchurch last Saturday will give them the confidence to advance.
Intermediate Hurling Semi Final
Title holders Ballinahinch will take on Shannon Rovers in the second Denis Meats North Tipp Intermediate Hurling semi final at Toomevara next Saturday, throw in 4pm. The sides will meet for the sixth time in the North championship 2010 to 2015 and Ballinahinch have won the last five meetings by very narrow margins.
Ballinahinch won the North Intermediate final last year for the first time in their history. Comparing the performances of either team it appears that Ballinahinch have the better side and they shoud prevail to reach the final and take on Moneygall in the final.
Minor A Hurling Semi Finals
The two Ger Gavin North Tipperary Minor A Hurling semi finals will take place on Wednesday August 30 when Kiladangan take on Toomevara at Nenagh throw in 6.00pm and Roscrea face Kilruane MacDonaghs at Toomevara also at 6pm.
Minor B Hurling Final Round
Three games feature this Wednesday in the final round of the Ger Gavin North Tipperary Minor B Hurling championship. Portroe take on Clonakenny/Moneygall; Ballinahinch/Templederry face Newport while Borrisokane take on Borris-Ileigh in a top of the table clash.
The winner of the two Borris sides will take top position. Borrisokane have 12 points with Borris-Ileigh on 10.
Clonakenny Moneygall on 8 points are through to the last four but their opponents Portroe (with 6 points) must win to at least force a play of with Ballinahinch Templederry who are currently on six but Ballinahinch/Temp should be in a position to improve their position when they are hot favourites to overcome a weak Newport side.
Prediction: Borrisokane, Borris-Ileigh, Clonakenny/Moneygall and Ballinahinch/Templederry to advance to the semi finals. If things stand Borrisokane will face Ballinahinch/Templederry in one semi final and Borris-Ileigh will face Clonakenny/Moneygall.

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