Moving day for club hurling sides

Jerome O’Connell


Jerome O’Connell

THE Congressional Country Club in Maryland hosts golf’s US Open this week and for all surviving the cut, Saturday will be ‘moving day’.

THE Congressional Country Club in Maryland hosts golf’s US Open this week and for all surviving the cut, Saturday will be ‘moving day’.

Similarly, this weekend’s second round of the Limerick’s Live 95FM sponsored county senior hurling championship could be described as the ‘moving day’ of the championship.

For many a second successive win could all but secure their place in the quarter-finals, which for others a first win could kick-start the year.

The opening round of the competition in mid-May could have come too soon for some clubs, but now all should be showing some form if they harbour aspirations of claiming the Daly Cup on October 2.

That said, club preparations always appear to be hampered. Many will have players sitting their Leaving Certificate exams and of course many will have players involved with the county minor team who play Waterford in the provincial semi-final on Saturday June 25.

Then there is the county senior and intermediate teams, who will have had pretty much the unrivalled attention of key players for the last couple of weeks.

All that the club managers can hope is that his stars return injury free from inter-county duty and showing good form.

The All-County League has occupied minds in recent weeks, but the real test only lies in championship.

Thinking back to round two last year, Kilmallock met Emmets in what proved to be a dress rehearsal for the county final later in the year. After drawing with Ahane in round one in 2010, Kilmallock came to life when beating their southern rivals 2-12 to 1-12.

So who will put their head above the water this weekend.

Round one didn’t set the world alight but this weekend there are a number of attractive fixtures.

Champions Kilmallock will need little motivation when they face up to old rivals Garryspillane. The pendulum has clearly swung towards The Balbac since the sides met in the county final of 2005, but Tony Considine more than anyone will be well equipped to warn his side of the character that exists within The Bouncers.

While there is much local bragging rights at stake in the south derby, the game of the weekend could be elsewhere.

A repeat of the 2009 final takes place in Kilmallock on Saturday evening when Na Piarsaigh play Adare.

Last year, the Caherdavin men gained revenge for the ‘09 final defeat when sending the champions crashing out of the championship at the quarter-final stage.

For neutrals in Fitzgerald Park much attention will focus on inter-county hero Kevin Downes. It will be interesting to see how Sean Stack utilises the attacker and indeed who Adare will opt to mark Downes with John Paul Healy and Stephen Lavin possibilities.

Just like Tony Considine, Adare manager John Fitzgerald finds himself facing his old club; Na Piarsaigh.

On Sunday night, last season’s beaten finalists Emmets will continue their quest when they face Patrickswell.

Both sides are under going change this season and a win for either side in this tie could be the making of their year. Youth merely needs encouragement and if Brian Lohan and Gary Kirby can get another win their new-look team can starting to plan for the knockout stages.

Elsehwhere there are two local derbies down for decision on Sunday evening, with Murroe-Boher playing Doon and Croom facing Bruree.