Hurling

Preview: Kilkenny Senior Hurling League Round 3

Nowlan Park. Pic: Stephen Byrne/KCLR
Nowlan Park. Pic: Stephen Byrne/KCLR

ST. CANICES CREDIT UNION SENIOR LEAGUE GROUP A

FRIDAY 19TH MAY
Rower-Inistioge v Mullinavat. 7.30pm in Thomastown

Rower-Inistioge have begun their campaign with two straight draws and are seen as potential dark horses for the County Championship this year.

They will fancy their chances against a Mullinavat team who gained a creditable draw against an under strength O’Loughlin Gaels. Joe Lyng is back involved with Rower-Inistioge which is a major plus to their prospects, and along with fellow Inter-County Senior Kieran Joyce, they can drive them towards securing two points.

Verdict: ROWER-INISTIOGE

SATURDAY 20TH MAY
St. Martins v Erins Own. 1.30pm in Ballyragget

An intense contest can be expected between these two close neighbours as both teams have endured contrasting fortunes so far. St. Martins were well beaten by O’Loughlin Gaels, although gave a much improved performance when just comning up short against Carrickshock.

However, despite losing by 15 points to O’Loughlin Gaels, they created several chances but 16 wides proved fatal to their hopes. A huge improvement in their conversion rate occurred against Carrickshock and a similar performance will give them a great chance against the neighbours.

Erins Own have made a very positive start in their opening two games and after a convincing victory against Mullinavat, they gained a valuable point against Rower-Inistioge. A similar reproduction of that form would see them win here. However, St. Martins need is greater and this can go right to the wire.

Verdict: DRAW

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Carrickshock v O’Loughlin Gaels. 7.30pm in Bennettsbridge

One of the games of the weekend between two of the top clubs in the county.

Carrickshock have made a very positive start since returning from Intermediate with three points from their opening two games which is a similar return to their opponents.

Paddy Deegan ran the show for O’Loughlin Gaels in the opening round victory against St. Martins scoring 0-6 from play, and while they will have been disappointed to have only drawn against Mullinavat, it wasn’t surprising considering they were without a number of players.

Carrickshock’s mettle was tested several times on their way to Intermediate glory over the last year, but each time they came out on top and their battling qualities which they have endured will serve them well in the Senior ranks. Another close battle awaits here.

Full and exclusive Commentary on kclrfanzone.com

Verdict: O’LOUGHLIN GAELS narrowly

ST. CANICES CREDIT UNION SENIOR LEAGUE GROUP B

Bennettsbridge v Clara. 1.30pm on the Kells Road

Another clash of neighbours here. Both sides bounced back after losing their first round fixtures. Bennettsbridge will get a far greater test of their credentials than the space afforded to them by Danesfort.

Having coming through the ranks winning at Junior and Intermediate the past three years, Bennettsbridge have discovered that the Senior Grade represents a significant step-up from anything they have faced before, and they are in no way finding the freedom they enjoyed prior to that.

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Clara bounced back from the Danesfort disappointment when defeating Ballyhale Shamrocks. Their campaign is up and running and their all-round greater experience should secure them victory here.

Verdict: CLARA

James Stephens v Ballyhale Shamrocks. 4.30pm in Danesfort

Amazing to think but if Ballyhale Shamrocks lost here, they could be in a potential relegation battle having lost their opening two games.

Despite been short several players, their was still a wealth of experience on show against Clara and overall they were disappointing.

The Village will have been downhearted to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory having led city neighbours Dicksboro by 4 points with just a few minutes remaining, and they will look to bounce back and put their arch-rivals into deeper trouble.

With results in the League so far, expect both teams to come out all guns blazing like wounded animals.

VERDICT: DRAW

Danesfort v Dicksboro. 7.30pm in Tom Ryall Park, Kilmanagh

Dicksboro are the only one of the 12 teams with a 100% winning record and they will be confidence going to battle against Danesfort.

Their resilience in battling all the way to the wire in their victory against James Stephens will have pleased manager Mark Dowling, and while they will be aware of Danesfort’s victory against Clara in the opening round of games, that should ensure they remain focused and make it a hat-trick of wins in the League.

VERDICT: DICKSBORO

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