Kinnitty won the JHC last year.
THERE was an extremely unsatisfactory end to the group stages of the Offaly Junior Hurling Championship on Saturday when three walkovers were conceded and it means that play offs will now have to take place to determine the semi-finalists.
Brosna Gaels and Ballinamere are safely through to the semi-finals on ten and eight points but four teams are tied on six pints for the other two spots – Tullamore, Shamrocks, Kilccormac-Killoughey and Coolderry.
Normally, scoring difference would have decided who progresses but the decision of three clubs to concede walkovers means that this now can't be applied. The Competitions Control Committee will now have to hold play offs to sort it all out.
That is a very unfortunate situation as it delays the conclusion of the championship by a week at the worse time of year with weather deterioriating and it is a great pity that the guilty clubs didn't field teams and uphold the integrity of the championship.
The walkovers were conceded by the three bottom teams in the group, Gracefield, Clodiagh Gaels and Edenderry and a semi-final spot was outside the reach of them all. Gracefield conceded to Coolderry, Edenderry gave a walkover to Brosna Gaels and Clodiagh Gaels didn't field against Ballyskenach-Killavilla.
Ballinamere secured their semi-final berth with a 2-11 to 1-13 win over Shamrocks while Tullamore kept their season alive with a fine 2-12 to 1-12 victory over Kilcormac-Killoughey.
A draw is likely to take place to decide the pairings in the two play off games with Tullamore, Shamrocks, Kilcormac-Killoughey and Coolderry with the two winners going into the semi-finals.
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