Senior hurling championship down to four as championship favourites kept apart in semi final draw

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Senior hurling championship down to four as championship favourites kept apart in semi final draw thumbnail

AFTER a weekend of quarter final action, the Offaly senior hurling championship is down to four teams. A double header of action in Birr on Saturday evening was followed by an early afternoon double in O'Connor Park on Sunday as Seir Kieran, St Rynagh's, Belmont and Kilcormac/Killoughey all booked their passage to the semi finals.

Following the final game on Sunday, the draw was made for the semi finals with Seir Kieran drawing reigning champions St Rynagh's with Belmont and K/K making up the other semi final.

First up in action on Saturday evening in Birr were Seir Kieran and Coolderry. Coolderry fired two goals in 90 seconds to lead by seven points after 13 minutes but Seir Kieran showed great patience and guile to turn that deficit around and to lead by two points at half time.

Barry Kealey goaled for them early in the second half but Coolderry refused to go away and a late Joe Brady goal helped them back to within a point with a minute to go.

James Mulrooney added a late point for Seir Kieran to make it a 1-22 to 3-15 win with Eanna Murphy in outstanding form at centre back.

Next up was a repeat of last years final as St Rynaghs took on a Birr side playing in their own back yard. St Rynagh's had the better start and looked the more composed in the opening half but three late points in the opening half from Colm Mulrooney meant that the champions only held a 0-10 to 0-9 lead at the break.

The second half was extremely close and entertaining with Birr looking like they were going to march on as they led by two points with three minutes to go. St Rynagh's then struck for three points in succession to overturn the deficit and win 0-19 to 0-18

On Sunday in Tullamore, Oisin Kelly fired 3-1 to help Belmont past Kinnitty 3-18 to 1-21 in a high scoring encounter. Kelly found the net twice in the opening half and then again in the second half and he proved the difference between the teams. Odhran Kealey hit six points from play for Kinnitty in an outstanding individual display but the goals told the difference in the end.

Kilcormac/Killoughey are also still alive after coming back from being a point down at half time to beat Shinrone by eight - 0-25 to 1-14. Shinrone were value for their half time lead but it could have been more and once K/K took the lead early in the second half, there only looked to be one winner. Cillian Kiely, James Gorman and Dan Currams led the way for the double k's who maintain their 100 percent record in the championship to date.

The semi finals have thrown up intriguing affairs. Trevor Fletcher won county titles with K/K back in their glory period but he will now have to lead his Belmont troops into battle against his old playing colleagues. With K/K looking nervy in the full back line and without key players and Belmont with a massive goal threat, it has the makings of a great game.

St Rynagh's and Seir Kieran have already played each other in the group stages with St Rynagh's winning by three points but this will be different with knockout hurling brining something new to the table.

St Rynagh's will look to have players like Stephen Quirke and Joseph O'Connor back to full fitness while Seir Kieran will be flying high after knocking out neighbours Coolderry in the quarter finals.



Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete