TWO draws in the first round of games in Group 1 of the Aidan Bracken Building Design Senior Hurling Championship have put the focus firmly on scores, and more importantly score difference, in the rounds ahead.
The championship kicked off on Friday night with defending champions Coolderry facing off against Kilcormac/Killoughey.
Danny Owens’ side looked to be on course to hand Coolderry an opening round defeat but the beaten All Ireland finalists showed their resilience and a point from Damien Murray in injury-time snatched the draw.
The second draw in the Group came between neighbours Kinnitty and Seir Kieran. Kinnitty looked to be on course to victory with time ticking down but two late points from the stick of Joe Bergin levelled the scores and meant the spoils were shared.
Those two draws mean that topping Group 1 after the first round of games are last year’s Intermediate champions Brosna Gaels who saw off the challenge of Shamrocks in windswept O’Connor Park.
Twelve points ahead at half-time after restricting Shamrocks to just a goal, Bronsa Gaels comfortably held on in the second-half to get a vital win to open their campaign
Group 2 at present at least is far more clear cut with three winners and three losers after the opening weekend.
Many thought an understrength Birr side could be challenged by Belmont but last year’s beaten finalists were in no mood to be on the wrong end of an upset and they opened their quest to regain the Sean Robbins Cup with a nine point win.
Elsewhere Shinrone took their goal chances in the first-half with the wind against Drumcullen to open up what turned out to be an unassailable lead while a young St Rynagh’s side also picked up two valuable points with a five point victory over Tullamore in the lowest scoring game of the weekend.
See this Tuesday’s Offaly Express and be the first to read full reports from all the games and keep an eye on www.offalyexpress.ie during the week for further coverage of the Senior Hurling Championship.