PAUL Murphy’s Birr didn’t exactly set the world on fire but even so they maintained their unblemished record in group 2 of the SHC as they crushed depleted Shamrocks by 22 points, 2-19 to 0-3, in trying weather and underfoot conditions at Kilcormac last Sunday.
Presentation of venues has become a topical issue in recent weeks and the surface in Kilcormac quite simply wasn’t up to scratch for this tie. The grass was inexcusably far too long, not a bit conducive to flowing hurling and its influence was even more profound because of the rain that fell during the opening half. In fairness, and it must be pointed out, the pitch in Kilcormac is usually excellent but for whatever reason the grass was too high and both clubs were unhappy with the scenario.
Birr lead Group 2 on score difference from reigning county champions Coolderry and they meet next in a shoot-out to determine who will win the group. The old rivals met in the county finals of 2004, ’05 & ’06 and while neither likes losing to the other, their latest encounter could be a case of shadow boxing as both are already through to the quarter-finals and they’ll also be keen not to show their full hand.
See this week’s Offaly Express for full reports on all games in Group 2 of the SHC plus the ‘Hurler on the Ditch’ which includes all the key statistics including Top Scorers, Disciplinary Record and Team of the Week.