Tullamore set pace in Offaly SHC “B”

Tullamore set pace in Offaly SHC “B”

Clodiagh Gaels and Lusmagh are contenders in the SHC "B"

A DEFINITE trend is beginning to emerge in the Molloy Environmental Systems Senior “B” Hurling Championship as the race hots up for the four semi-final spots on offer.

The third round of games took place last weekend and Tullamore are destined for the semi-final with six points from their three games. Clodiagh Gaels and Lusmagh are also looking good with four points – Clodiagh Gaels scoring difference is +21 compared to -5 while they also have the edge on Lusmagh under the head to head rule.

Clara and Kilcormac-Killoughey have two points each – Clara's scoring difference is +0, Kilcormac-Killoughey's -1. Shinrone have lost their three games and look to be heading for the relegation play off.

There was an entertaining double bill in O'Connor Park on Saturday afternoon last. Tullamore were pushed the whole way by an improving Clara side. Indeed, Clara probably deserved something out of this game as they had edged in front with time almost up but Tullamore rallied brilliantly with three injury time points for a 0-22 to 0-19 win.

Clodiagh Gaels looked very good in their 4-24 to 0-22 win over Lusmagh. The Killeigh-Killurin outfit were missing their star player Liam Langton but played some excellent hurling. Dwayne Dunne, Conor Langton and Shane Dolan all excelled in their atrtack, Cathal Curran was in fine form at midfield and Sean Beatty and Clint Horan marshalled their defence as Clodiagh Gaels led by 2-20 to 0-10 at half time and never let Lusmagh back in to it.

Lusmagh were missing a couple of players but will have been disappointed at the scale of this defeat. In the other game, Kilcormac-Killoughey ha d a 2-18 to 3-10 win over last year's intermediate champions, Shinrone.

Clodiagh Gaels and Lusmagh are now favourites to claim semi-final places though Lusmagh in particular won't be taking anything for granted. They have a good chance of securing qualification in their next game against Kilcormac-Killoughey but this is far from a formality.

The odds favour Clara taking the final place. They will be underdogs in their next game against Clodiagh Gaels but will be favourites to beat Shinrone and that may be enough for them – K-K, however, can't be ruled out of the equation and they have a decent team.

Round 4 fixtures are: Clara v Clodiagh Gaels, Shinrone v Tullamore, Lusmagh v Kilcormac-Killoughey;

Round 5 fixtures are: Clara v Shinrone, Tullamore v Lusmagh and Clodiagh Gaels v Kilcormac-Killoughey.

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