Carrick Swan will take on Killenaule in the Clonmel Oil South Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship final at Fethard on Saturday, September 2nd at 5.30pm.
Carrick booked their place in the divisional final for the first time since 2013 thanks to a 4-18 to 3-15 win over Ballingarry. Ballingarry led that contest 1-13 to 3-6 at the break, but a hat-trick of goals from Damien McCarthy was a highlight of the win. Carrick will enter the South final as underdogs against hot favourites Killenaule, but the Swans should not be underestimated - they are a resilient bunch this lot.
In the county senior hurling championship Carrick were presented with a series of significant beatings -the Swans lost by forty points to Thurles Sarsfields (0-7 to 5-32), thirty-three points to Nenagh Éire Óg (1-13 to 6-31) and then by ten to Kilruane MacDonagh's (1-17 to 3-21).
To their credit, however, Carrick re-grouped superbly and although they lost to Killenaule in the opening round of the South Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship (0-19 to 1-24) the Swans beat Mullinahone 1-11 to 0-12.
Killenaule will, however, be on a mission this weekend and are not likely to take their eye off the ball in this one.
Killenaule beat Burgess (1-18 to 1-16) and Éire Óg Annacarty (2-20 to 1-19) in the opening two rounds of the county senior hurling championship, but slipped up badly in the third round - Killenaule lost by seven points to Mullinahone (1-13 to 2-17) and now need to win the South championship in order to fight their way back into the knock-out stage of the county series.
Prior to last weekend Killenaule had already qualified for the South final and rested a number of players in a 0-9 to 1-19 defeat suffered at the hands of Mullinahone. Killenaule, however, will enjoy an opportunity to get back on track and book their place in the knock-out stage of the county championship when they take on Carrick Swans at Fethard on Saturday.
The sides met earlier this season at Fethard when Killenaule enjoyed a routine 1-24 to 0-19 victory. Aaron Dunne and Dale O’Hanlon were lively during the opening quarter, but despite playing into the wind Killenaule led 0-14 to 0-11 at the break. Killenaule cantered away from their opponents thereafter and it is hard to see Carrick gaining a real foothold in this contest, especially when the favourites feature players as talented as Paddy Codd, Joe O’Dwyer, Kieran Bergin, Tony Doyle, Declan Fanning, Daniel Guinan and, of course, John O’Dwyer.
You can expect Carrick Swans to give it their all, but you can also expect Killenaule to be nourished by a raw ambition to feature in the closing stages of the Tipperary Water County Senior Hurling Championship.
Last Five South Tipperary Senior
Hurling Championship Finals
2012 Mullinahone 1-17 Carrick Swans 2-9
2013 Killenaule 1-22 Carrick Swans 2-16
2014 Mullinahone 2-11 Killenaule 2-8
2015 Killenaule 0-21 Mullinahone 2-13
2016 Mullinahone 2-15 Killenaule 1-17