Shamrocks and Seir Kieran will meeting in the Offaly Intermediate Hurling final replay in Birr on Saturday at 3pm.
SEIR Kieran's confidence will be flying after getting out of jail in the drawn Offaly Intermediate Hurling Championship final but the momentum could still be with Shamrocks for next Saturday's replay in Birr.
Seir Kieran were certainly the more relieved to get the draw in the first game in Tullamore. They were staring defeat in the place when goalkeeper Joseph Connors struck a brilliantly equalising goal from a free deep in injury time.
It left Shamrocks reeling and they were very close to losing the game after that – Seir Kieran could have got a late free in a thrilling end to a fiercely contested game.
A point up at half time, Shamrocks had got on top in the second half and had ample chances to kill off the game but didn't and almost paid full price.
Both sides will fancy their chances in the replay. Seir Kieran will be happy that it is Birr and they will feel this strengthens their chances but the venue won't make any real difference.
It should be another very good, tight game of hurling but Shamrocks remain the favourites. It is possible, though far from definite, that Seir Kieran played as well as they can in the first game and that Shamrocks have the greater scope for improvement.
Seir Kieran, however, are a very steady, strong side. What you see is what you get and there is more certainty about the way they will play. It is Shamrocks' first team and as you would expect, they may have an edge in certain aspects but they are well capable of blowing hot and cold. They now know they can beat Seir Kieran but that doesn't mean they will.
They will have to find more consistency over the hour and they need their big players to really stand up to be counted. The odds favour them but Shamrocks are well capable of losing this game.
Verdict – Shamrocks.
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