Sports

Semi-final places up for grabs in Tipperary senior championship

Thursday, 14 September 2017

TWENTY NINE teams set out in search of the Dan Breen Cup in late April but almost six months later the number is down to eight as the four Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Quarter finals are down for decision this coming weekend.
Semple Stadium will host the four games, two on Saturday afternoon and the second pair on Sunday evening under lights.
Six of the eight teams were involved in last year's quarter finals with Thurles Sarfields, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Mullinahone, Clonoulty Rossmore, Drom Inch and Borris-Ileigh to be joined by Eire Og Annacarty and Loughmore Castleiney who replaced last year's runners up Kiladangan and Killenaule.
Saturday September 16: Eire Og Anacarty/Donohill v Mullinahone 2pm
The teams met this year in the round robin stage of the championship with Eire Og winning 1-18 to 0-14 just ten years since they last met in the when a talented Mullinahone side won by 3-10 to 1-10. At the end of the round robin stage it was Eire Og who claimed top position ahead of Mullinahone on points difference. In a year that has its ups and downs they reached the West senior final but lost to Clonoulty Rossmore 1-14 to 1-9. Brian Fox, Tom Fox and Conor O'Brien are their leading men and they seem to have enough ammunition to overcome a Mullinahone side are not the team feared by many as they were ten years ago. They failed to reach the South final having been expected to do so and they don't appear to have enough to claim a place in the semi final this time round.
Verdict: Eire Og Anacarty.

Saturday September 16: Thurles Sarsfields v Kilruane MacDonaghs 3.30pm
Another pairing that met this year in the round robin stage with Thurles winning by 2-20 to 1-17. The game was a repeat of the county semi final encounter in 2015 when Kilruane almost caused an upset.
This star studded Thurles side with Padraig Maher, Ronan Maher and Michael Cahill on board went on to retain the county final and now they should have enough talent to get over this obstacle as they go in search of a four in a row. Already they have the Mid final win under their belt.
On the other side of the coin Kilruane have struggled through the 2017 season with injury robbing them of players at vital times with Brian O'Meara, Thomas Cleary and Thomas Williams missing some action from time to time. They came runners -up in the county championship group in a year they were expected to reach the North final but lost to Kiladangan in the quarter final.
Verdict: Thurles Sarsfields
Sunday September 17: Clonoulty-Rossmore v Drom-Inch 6pm
Another game that saw both sides meet in the round robin stage with Clonoulty Rossmore winning 1-24 to 2-15. The win helped the current West champions overturn the result of the 2011 county final when Drom won their first county final 1-19 to 2-14.
For Drom Inch, this has been a mixed year for Seamus Callanan and his team and they are up against an improved Clonoulty side who topped their group ahead of Drom, Portroe and Ballina with John O'Neill, Conor and Timmy Hammersley and Sean Maher who helped the Green and Gold regain the West final when beating Eire Og Anacarty 1-14 to 1-9.
Verdict: Clonoulty Rossmore
Loughmore-Castleiney v Borris-Ileigh 7.30pm
When these sides met last May the game finished level at 1-16 each. It was a vital game for Borris-Ileigh who lost their opening game with Kiladangan. Since then they have won all games in both North and county championships culminating in a successful North final journey when overcoming Nenagh Eire Og in the decider. Since then the North champions beat Carrick Swans in the preliminary quarter final 3-16 to 2-5 last weekend.
In the opposite corner, Loughmore Castleiney announced to the county that they are a team to reckoned with when they outdid Kiladangan in the third round of the round robin stage and claim a place in the knock out stages of the Dan Breen. However there have been some lows and losing the Mid semi final to Upperchurch Drombane was a setback.
Backed by the McGrath brothers, Noel and John one feels they have the enough in the tank to claim victory in what could be the game of the weekend.
Verdict: Loughmore Castleiney.

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