Upperchurch and Sarsfields collide in the pick of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship clashes

Brian McDonnell

Reporter:

Brian McDonnell

Email:

bmcdonnell@tipperarystar.ie

Upperchurch and Sarsfields collide in the pick of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship clashes

Thurles Sarsfields captain Pádraic Maher pictured collecting the Dan Breen Cup from former County Board chairman Michael Bourke in October 2017.

At last - the Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship swings back into action this weekend. And, we will be treated to some tantalizing clashes as the battle for places in the knock-out stage heats up. Indeed, the group three meeting of Upperchurch-Drombane and Thurles Sarsfields could well represent the pick of the games - the Mid Tipperary rivals meet in group three on Saturday, August 11th at The Ragg (2pm).

Upperchurch-Drombane got off to a terrific start when beating Drom & Inch (0-20 to 1-13) in April while Thurles Sarsfields were presented with a walkover by Carrick Swans - the South Tipperary men face a rejuvenated Drom & Inch at Leahy Park, Cashel on Saturday (7pm).

Drom & Inch simply must win that contest and all the indications are that they will.

Although Sarsfields still have a Mid Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship final to look forward to you can be sure and certain that Thurles will want to do the business here and secure their place in the quarter-finals as fast as is practically possible.

You can expect Drom and Sarsfields to prevail.

Results
Drom & Inch 1-13 Upperchurch 0-20
Thurles Sarsfields w/o Carrick Swans scr

Fixtures
Saturday, August 11th
Upperchurch-Drombane v Thurles Sarsfields in The Ragg @ 2pm
Saturday, August 11th
Carrick Swans v Drom & Inch in Leahy Park, Cashel @ 7pm

Remaining Games
Carrick Swans v Upperchurch-Drombane
Drom & Inch v Thurles Sarsfields

GROUP ONE

Clonoulty-Rossmore registered a solid win over Mullinahone (1-14 to 0-11) in the opening round while Nenagh Éire Óg proved far too strong for Roscrea (2-24 to 0-11). Those contests, however, took place in April and this weekend's clashes could make for interesting viewing.

Roscrea face Mullinahone on Saturday, August 11th in Templetuohy (5pm). It will be widely assumed that Mullinahone will be too strong for the North Tipperary men, but the Roscrea side is stuffed full of raw talent and real pace. So, watch out for a potential upset here.

Meanwhile Clonoulty-Rossmore and Nenagh Éire Óg will meet on Sunday, August 12th at The Ragg (3.30pm). Clonoulty-Rossmore beat the Blues impressively in a recent league game which will give John Devane's side plenty of confidence facing into this contest.

Please note that Clonoulty-Rossmore have already secured their place in the knock-out stage of the championship thanks to winning the West Tipperary title earlier this season.

Results
Mullinahone 0-11 Clonoulty 1-14
Nenagh Éire Óg 2-24 Roscrea 0-11

Fixtures
Saturday, August 11th
Roscrea v Mullinahone in Templetuohy @ 5pm
Sunday, August 12th
Clonoulty-Rossmore v Nenagh Éire Óg in The Ragg @ 3.30pm

Remaining Games
Roscrea v Clonoulty-Rossmore
Mullinahone v Nenagh Éire Óg

GROUP TWO

Although Éire Óg Annacarty lost the West final to Clonoulty-Rossmore the Killenaule men claimed the South meaning that Declan Ryan's men have, at the very least, a preliminary quarter-final to look forward to.

Killenaule lost to Éire Óg Annacarty (1-11 to 0-16) in the opening round while Toome beat Kilruane MacDonagh's (1-9 to 0-10).

On Saturday, August 11th Killenaule take on Kilruane in Templetuohy (6.30pm) while on Sunday next, August 12th Toomevara face Éire Óg Annacarty at The Ragg (2pm).

Kilruane await the winner of the replay between Kiladangan and Nenagh Éire Óg in the North final, but you can be sure that Liam O'Shea will have his troops breathing fire for the clash with Killenaule.

The MacDonagh's are fancied to prevail here while Annacarty may prove too seasoned for Toomevara in their contest.

Results
Éire Óg Annacarty 0-16 Killenaule 1-11
Kilruane 0-10 Toomevara 1-9

Fixtures
Saturday, August 11th
Killenaule v Kilruane MacDonagh's in Templetuohy @ 6.30pm
Sunday, August 12th
Toomevara v Éire Óg Annacarty in The Ragg @ 2pm

Remaining Games
Toomevara v Killenaule
Éire Óg Annacarty v Kilruane MacDonagh's

GROUP FOUR

One of the real potential crowd-pulling games takes place on Saturday, August 11th when Borris-Ileigh and Loughmore-Castleiney collide at The Ragg (3.30pm).

Borris-Ileigh beat Portroe (2-10 to 0-12) in the opening round while Loughmore-Castleiney lost a thriller to Kiladangan (1-11 to 0-15).

Loughmore are through to the Mid final against Thurles Sarsfields, but nothing is guaranteed for them going down the divisional route so beating Borris-Ileigh this Saturday has to be Declan Laffan's top priority.

And, given the quality of their display in the Mid semi-final against Holycross-Ballycahill (1-30 to 0-10) Loughmore-Castleiney would have to be favoured against a Borris-Ileigh team who will potentially be without Brendan Maher, Dan McCormack and Niall Kenny.

On Saturday, August 11th in Nenagh (7pm) Kiladangan will be expected to get the better of Portroe. Indeed, Portroe may well struggle to stick the pace here and require heroics to avoid relegation.

Results
Portroe 0-12 Borris-Ileigh 2-10
Loughmore-Castleiney 1-11 Kiladangan 0-15

Fixtures
Saturday, August 11th
Borris-Ileigh v Loughmore-Castleiney in The Ragg @ 3.30pm
Saturday, August 11th
Kiladangan v Portroe in Nenagh @ 7pm

Remaining Games
Kiladangan v Borris-Ileigh
Portroe v Loughmore-Castleiney

COMPETITION FORMAT

The format for the county senior hurling championship is as follows: sixteen teams will compete in Roinn I for the Dan Breen Cup.

There are four seeded groups - the seedings are based on the finishing position of the teams in the 2017 group stage of the championship; three rounds of games will be played with the top two teams progressing to the knock-out stage of the competition.

There is a potential need for preliminary quarter-finals if a divisional champion has not progressed to the knock-out stage of the county championship via the round robin stage of the competition. If this eventuality materializes the divisional champion(s) in question will be drawn to play a group runner-up in order to determine who progresses to the quarter-finals alongside the aforementioned group winners and remaining runners-up.

The group winners will be seeded in the quarter-finals with repeat pairings avoided where possible (repeat pairings are also avoided where possible at the semi-final stage of the competition).

Relegation: The four bottom teams in the respective groups will battle it out to see which two teams are relegated to Roinn II (the Séamus Ó Riain Cup) in time for the 2019 season.

The preliminary quarter-finals were originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 26th with the quarter-finals on Sunday, October 7th, semi-finals on Sunday, October 14th and the county final on Sunday, October 28th.

FURTHER READING

To keep up to date with all the sporting news in Tipperary please click here - to follow the Tipperary Star sports team on twitter please click here - to follow sports editor Brian McDonnell on Twitter please click here. Alternatively, you can also like the Tipperary Star on Facebook.