FBD Insurance County Senior Hurling Championship
Saturday September 24:
Drom & Inch V Loughmore Castleiney in FBD Semple Stadium 4.00
An all mid clash that sees the defending champions face the form team of this year’s championship.
Loughmore haven’t hit top form this year, but they are still unbeaten and with the returning Ciaran Connolly getting more game time on board, they will still fancy their chances at defending their title.
Drom are in scintillating form all year, with their dominant half back line the platform for their wins to date, and should they get on top here from the off, the lessened scoring threat of Loughmore could be stifled sufficiently.
Verdict: Drom & Inch
Toomevara V Kilruane MacDonaghs in FBD Semple Stadium 5.45
Two teams who are very familiar with one another, and have both had a mixed bag in terms of performances in the last month and a half.
Toome have really struggled for top form in the county series, with a brief ten minute performance at the end of the Holycross game their best highlights to date. They are carrying some injuries and were without Joey McLoughney the last day and he would be a big loss yet again.
Kilruane will have losses of their own with Craig Morgan gone, while Jack Peters will also be missing, so both teams will feel they have a real opportunity to claim a spot in the last four. It will be close, but the difference in scoring capabilities might swing it towards black and white.
Verdict: Kilruane MacDonaghs
FBD Insurance Senior Hurling Relegation Semi-Finals
Moycarkey Borris V Éire Óg Annacarty/Donohill in Clonoulty 2.00
It’s all hands to the pump as both teams get into survival mode this coming weekend.
Moycarkey mixed the very good with the very, very bad at stages in their group campaign, which culminated in a narrow loss to Clonoulty which condemned them to the relegation scrap.
They have the players to compete at this level and they will be desperate to keep their development going in Dan Breen at any cost, but they face a team in Anncarty who have experience in these games and a really dogged outfit.
The west men put in good performances in all their games in the group, and if they had just an extra bit of scoring threat they may have caused a few upsets.
This will be incredibly tight and may require another two halves but it may just go in the mid men’s favour.
Verdict: Moycarkey Borris
Templederry Kenyons V Mullinahone in Templemore 4.30
Two teams that come into the same position, albeit with differing form lines from the group stages.
Templederry gradually got to grips with the standard in their final two games after a first round mauling to Drom, but they continue to be far too leaky in the back line and averaged a 30 point concession per game, and this is an area they’ll need to address.
Mullinahone have come into this relegation battle in the worst form of all four teams, and only for a dubious Eoin Kelly penalty in the first game against Toomevara, would have been pointless, and the manner of their loss to Holycross will be a massive concern.
If Templederry can keep it relatively tight at the back, there should be enough scoring nous to get the job done for the north men.
Verdict: Templederry Kenyons
Sunday, September 25:
FBD Insurance Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Finals
JK Brackens V Upperchurch Drombane in FBD Semple Stadium 2.00
As if there wasn’t enough riding on this game, the clash in the football at the same stage last weekend will add scarcely needed spice to this one. Upperchurch are enjoying a phenomenal year, which sees them one match away from the last four after topping their group with three wins.
Brackens produced a magnificent last ten minutes to shock Nenagh in the preliminary quarter-final, and they seem to leave their best for the home stretch in games.
This will be hard to call, but if Brackens are within touching distance down the home straight, they might just sneak it.
Verdict: JK Brackens
Kiladangan V Clonoulty Rossmore in FBD Semple Stadium 3.45
What a match this looks on paper. Clonoulty’s resilience in the last month or more has been unbelievable and they showed serious mettle to edge past Thurles Sarsfields in a tight game in Holycross in the preliminary quarter-final.
They return to the pitch where they lost their captain last month, and no doubt it will be emotionally charged, but they’ve shown they can harness that energy positively.
Kiladangan, like Loughmore, have yet to hit top gear but if they do, they will be very hard to stop from here as they tend to leave their best for knockout hurling.
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