Tullamore and Clodiagh Gaels are leading contenders for the SHC "B"
THERE are crunch games in the Offaly Senior “B” Hurling Championship this weekend. The six teams are in the one group with the top four teams going into two semi-finals and it will all get very serious very quickly.
In the first round, Tullamore showed their intent with a very impressive win over a fancied Clodiagh Gaels side while Clara beat Kilcormac-Killoughey and Lusmagh were too strong for the 2020 intermediate champions, Shinrone.
The second round this weekend will tell a lot more about teams. With four teams coming through and five games, there is a wide margin of error but clubs who lose a second game this weekend will be under pressure.
Saturday, September 11: Lusmagh v Clara in Doon at 1.00pm; Verdict – Lusmagh.
Saturday, September 11: Clodiagh Gaels v Shinrone in Crinkle at 2.00pm; Verdict – Clodiagh Gaels.
Sunday, September 12: Kilcormac-Killoughey v Tullamore in Killeigh at 5.00pm; Verdict – Tullamore.
Intermediate Hurling Championship
The second round of the Intermediate Hurling Championship will tell a good bit this weekend. In group 1, Shamrocks and Birr are top with two points while Coolderry and Seir Kieran have yet to get off the mark and in group two, Carrig-Riverstown and St Rynagh's have two points while Belmont and Kinnitty are pointless.
The top team in each group goes into semi-finals with the second and third into the two quarter-finals. It gives club the lattitude to lose two games but equally, as we have seen with similar formats in football, two losses can end prospects.
Fixtures for this weekend are:
Sunday, September 12: Birr v Seir Kieran in Ballyskenagh at 12.00; Verdict – Birr.
Sunday, September 12: Shamrocks v Coolderry in Banagher at 12.00; Verdict – Shamrocks.
Saturday, September 11: Belmont v Carrig-Riverstown in Birr at 2.00pm; Verdict – Carrig-Riverstown.
Saturday, September 11: Kinnitty v St Rynagh's in Rath at 2.00pm; Verdict – St Rynagh's.
Junior Hurling Championships
The Junior Hurling Championship format is the same as senior hurling. There are ten teams, divided into two groups of five. They criss-cross and the four teams with the best record go into the semi-finals.
There were first round wins for Ballinamere, Tullamore, Shamrocks, Edenderry and Brosna Gaels while Kilcormac-Killoughey, Clodiagh Gaels, Ballyskenach-Killavilla, Gracefield and Coolderry have yet to get off the mark.
This championship is difficult to assess at the moment. Clubs will lose players to teams in a higher grade and there will be twists and turns. It will take a couple more rounds before we can begin to talk about potential semi-finalists.
Fixtures this weekend are: Gracefield v Brosna Gaels, Kilcormac-Killoughey v Clodiagh Gaels, Edenderry v Shamrocks, Ballinamere v Tullamore and Ballyskenach-Killavilla v Coolderry.
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