Round three of the Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship takes place this Saturday, August 12th - none of the Roinn I groups are settled just yet and a series of cracking contests are in store.
There are four groups in Roinn I of the county senior hurling championship - the group winners progress to the quarter-finals while each group runner-up may be required to battle it out with the divisional champions in the preliminary quarter-finals for a chance to compete in the last eight.
The fourth-placed teams in each group play-off in two games with the individual game losers are demoted to Roinn II for 2018.
ROINN ONE GROUP ONE
On Saturday in group one Upperchurch-Drombane take on Borris-Ileigh in Semple Stadium, Thurles while Kiladangan face Loughmore-Castleiney in Dolla (both games throw-in at 7pm).
Loughmore lead the group on three points, Upperchurch and Kiladangan are joint-second on two while Borris-Ileigh are bottom on one. We are in for a dramatic finale here with all four sides in with a shout of making the knock-out stage of the competition. Watch out for some serious fireworks here.
ROINN ONE GROUP TWO
Clonoulty-Rossmore lead group two on four points, Drom & Inch are second on two while Ballina and Portroe both have a point apiece. On Saturday in Cloughjordan Drom & Inch face Ballina while Clonoulty-Rossmore and Portroe meet in Dolla (both games at 5.30pm). Clonoulty's position in the knock-out stage of the competition looks reasonably safe, but Drom & Inch would be advised to respect the challenge posed by Ballina. Any club side that can call on both Michael Breen and Steven O'Brien will take some watching.
ROINN ONE GROUP THREE
Thurles Sarsfields and Kilruane MacDonagh's set the pace in group three while Nenagh Éire Óg need an absolute miracle. Right now Thurles Sarsfields lead the group on four points (+47) while Kilruane are second on two (+4) and Nenagh Éire Óg are third on two points (+22) - Kilruane lead the head-to-head with Nenagh based on their comprehensive victory over Éire Óg earlier this year. Carrick Swans prop up the group on zero points (-73) and, unfortunately, looked destined for the play-offs and a potential drop to roinn II.
On Saturday Kilruane take on Carrick Swans in Leahy Park, Cashel while Thurles Sarsfields meet Nenagh Éire Óg in Templemore (both games throw in 7pm).
Éire Óg need a win against Thurles Sars and will then hope that Kilruane don't run up a significant score against the Swans. Both scenarios are, of course, highly unlikely, but if three teams finish the group on equal points the final positions of the respective sides will be determined by scoring difference.
ROINN ONE GROUP FOUR
It is all to play for in group four. On Saturday Killenaule face Mullinahone in Monroe while Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill take on Burgess in Semple Stadium, Thurles (both games take place at 5.30pm).
Killenaule lead the group here on four points, Éire Óg and Mullinahone are joint-second on two while Burgess are last on zero.
The result of both games could have a significant impact on the landscape of this group - the meeting of rivals Mullinahone and Killenaule is sure to attract a crowd while Éire Óg need to be wary of a Burgess team who will be determined to maintain their Roinn I status.
The group stage of the Séamus Ó Riain Cup (Roinn II of the county senior hurling championship) comes to a conclusion on Sunday. And, there is a significant change to the format of roinn II this season. The four group winners and runners-up progress to the quarter-finals of the Séamus Ó Riain Cup.
The winner of that round of games qualifies for the semi-finals of the cup while both finalists are promoted to Roinn I for 2018.
ROINN TWO GROUP ONE
In group one Roscrea take on Ballingarry at The Ragg and the Newport men face Toomevara in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh (both games throw in at 12 noon). Toome lead the group on four points with Roscrea and Newport hot on their heels on two points while Ballingarry prop up the group on zero. Roscrea will be favoured to beat Ballingarry meaning that Newport must get the better of Toomevara in order to force their way back into contention (if three sides finish on equal points the final placings will be determined by scoring difference).
ROINN TWO GROUP TWO
Templederry Kenyons have sewn up group two having already beaten Moycarkey-Borris and Silvermines in this three-team group.
Therefore Sunday's clash between Moycarkey-Borris and Silvermines at The Ragg (1.30pm) represents a winnner-takes-all affair - the winner of this contest will join Templederry in the quarter-finals.
ROINN TWO GROUP THREE
JK Bracken's lead group three on three points while Clonakenny are second on one and Borrisokane bottom on zero. Clonakenny face Borrisokane in Roscrea on Sunday at 7pm. JK Bracken's and Clonakenny battled to a stalemate meaning that Clonakenny will progress with a win over Borrisokane and should they do so by more than nine points Clonakenny will top the group. Borris, however, are no push over and should they win here Vincent McKenna's men will leap frog Clonakenny, earn a place in the quarter-finals and also condemn Clonakenny to the relegation play-offs.
ROINN TWO GROUP FOUR
Finally, the meeting of Knockavilla Kickhams and Lorrha-Dorrha will bring group four to a conclusion at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh (1.30pm) on Sunday. Holycross have already won this three-team group so the winner of the clash between Lorrha and Knockavilla will join Michael Ferncombe's men in the quarter-finals.
The loser, of course, will find themselves in a relegation play-off.
In group one of the Tipperary Water County Intermediate Hurling Championship Gortnahoe-Glengoole enter the final round of games on zero points and face Thurles Sarsfields on Sunday in Holycross at 12 noon. Sarsfields are joint-top of the group on three points alongside a Ballinahinch team who face Golden-Kilfeacle on Sunday in Templemore (12 noon). Golden must win in order to force their way back into the picture.
In group two on Saturday in Cloughjordan (7pm) Roscrea and Moneygall meet. Roscrea are bottom of this three-team group on zero points while Moneygall are second to Drom & Inch on one. Moneygall and Drom & Inch drew their game so the Moneygall men need to put up a big score on Roscrea should they wish to leap frog the Mid Tipperary men.
On Sunday in Holycross (1.30pm) Boherlahan-Dualla enjoy an opportunity to rescue their season when they take on Moyne-Templetuohy. Moyne and St Mary's Clonmel lead this three-team group on two points each and even though Boherlahan have zero a win this weekend would ensure that the final placings in the group will be determined by scoring difference.
In group four on Sunday Sean Treacy's face Carrick Davins in Leahy Park, Cashel and Cashel King Cormacs take on Shannon Rovers in Templederry (both games take place at 12 noon). Right now Sean Treacy's set the pace on four points with Cashel King Cormacs and Carrick Davins on two while Shannon Rovers are bottom on zero. Essentially, it is all to play for here.
Group five will come to a conclusion on Friday when Kiladangan and Lattin-Cullen Gaels meet in Newport while Cappawhite and Arravale Rovers face off in Annacarty (both games throw in at 7pm). Cappawhite set the pace here on four points with Kiladangan second on two points, Arravale Rovers third on three and Lattin-Cullen Gaels bottom on one.
Finally, Saturday's clash between Moyle Rovers and Galtee Rovers-St Pecaun will complete the games in group six (three teams) in Leahy Park, Cashel (5.30pm). Both sides have already lost to Kilsheelan-Kilcash meaning that Kilsheelan have group six sewn up.