Wednesday, 16th May 2012
The weekend hurling championship can certainly be described as one of the most unpredictable of recent times. On Friday evening 2012 County finalists Tallow were put to the pin of their collar to eke out a draw against Roanmore 0-16 to 1-13. The city outfit fielding a young inexperienced outfit must surely have garnered a huge amount of satisfaction and indeed confidence from the point gained and it may propel them to further heights as the championship unfolds.
De La Salle have been the bookies favourites from the outset but they received a huge jolt as they went down to Fourmilewater 0-18 to 1-10 on Saturday evening. In truth the men from the Ballymac area with an outstanding Liam Lawlor at centre back and Shane Walsh at full forward fully deserved the win. Over the last number of years they have threatened without getting over the line. Perhaps it is a case of consistency. No doubt if they keep performing with the same fluency that they have done so far, then, they will be the team to beat. De La Salle on the other hand will probably see this as a 'bad day at the office'. They were very impressive in their initial outing against Mount Sion but this result will see them having to refocus.
Speaking of Mount Sion - the Monastery outfit have had the worst possible start with a second defeat at the weekend to 2011 Intermediate champions Dunhill on a 1-18 to 1-16 scoreline at Walsh Park. This was a game that the city outfit appeared to have in safe keeping midway through the second half as a Robert Breslin goal helped them six points clear. However a Dunhill goal from Paul Doyle saw them come storming back in the last fifteen minutes with some superb point-scoring from Eamon Murphy taking the fight to their opponents. This win coupled with the confidence it will bring could well see Dunhill now challenge for a quarter final spot and that would certainly be some achievement. Mount Sion never appeared at ease even when well in command. For some unknown reason they have not brought to the table the superb form they have shown in both the league and Sargent Cup. They will I'm sure still have a lot to offer and their outstanding record in championship could see them transform their results. You never know.
If the opening game was somewhat of a surprise result then, the second game doubled that surprise as Dungarvan came from behind to secure the points against Ballygunner. The Gunners have been touted as one of the main hopes for championship success but on the evidence of this display the Old Boro, with the Currans and Jamie Nagle in their ranks, will be a match for them all. Leading by 0-6 to 0-0 at the break it appeared that the Gunners plan was going as expected but Dungarvan became a team transformed in the second half and ran out 2-10 to 0-9 winners. What a confidence booster.
Abbeyside had four points to spare over Passage 2-17 to 2-13. Both teams will undoubtedly see the knockout stages as well within reach although Passage will quickly want to get back on the winning trail. Lismore were six points 2-13 to 0-13 winners over Ballyduff Upper. The Cathedral town outfit are quietly putting their game together. They suffered a huge defeat to Mount Sion in the league but since have been quickly reversing that form. As for Ballyduff Upper, they just have not hit the heights at which we know they can perform. Two weeks from now will tell a lot.
Back To The Big Ball Action
The football championship takes centre stage this weekend as a full round of competition is expected to be completed. It certainly has appeared in the opening rounds that a major shock could well be on the cards this year as a number of the so-called "less-fancied" teams have put down a marker. On Friday one such team Rathgormack will put their unbeaten record on the line as they face St. Saviours in Walsh Park in the city at 7.30pm. The men from the Comeragh, although in a rebuilding programme, have come through their opening games with all guns blazing and willl fully expect to keep their record intact against a Ballybeg outfit who have underachieved this year. Rathgormack will be well aware that another win would practically guarantee them a spot in the knockout stages. That said St Saviours are a club that, when shoulders are required to the wheel, they are the team to do it. Over the past few years they have been hovvering close to the relegation line but can be relied upon to summon up reserves to keep their season alive. A win against the joint table-toppers might well spur their endeavours and turn around their 2012 fortunes.
There are two games scheduled for Fraher Field on Friday evening. Opening proceedings Ardmore face Gaultier and while both teams have not exactly lit the fuse for their Conway Cup campaign this year there is now an opportunity to right that and begin a challenge. Ardmore went down to Nire 2-10 to 1-4 in their previous outing while Gaultier were on the wrong end of a 1-9 to 0-9 scoreline to Rathgormack. Difficult to predict an outcome other than to say that both the men from the seaside resort and the men from the Barony could well do with a good win. Let's wait and see.
The second of this double-header bill will see Stradbally face their near neighbours Killrossanty. Now this is a game which brings together two clubs with a huge pedigree in football. The Reds have been in a rich vein of success over the last decade and a half while, Kilrossanty surprised even themselves in reaching the semi-final in 2011. I say that as we know that the Leamybrien club have been rebuilding and bringing through a new blend of youth to help them reclaim their place at the pinnacle of Waterford football. Stradbally were shocked by Clashmore in their opening round (1-9 to 0-8) before securing two points against Dungarvan with a 2-17 to 0-8 win three weeks ago. This game is has an 8.30pm throw-in.
On Saturday it is back to the Old Boro for another double header. There is sure to be a huge attendance for what looks on paper to be two superb duels. Opening proceedings reigning champions Ballinacourty face Nire, a team who have been at the business end of the competition on so many occasions over the past decade plus. Ballinacourty had a lethargic start to the competition when they went down 1-10 to 1-7 to Rathgormack before righting their ship in round two with a solid 2-10 to 1-3 victory over St Saviours. Nire are presently joint table-toppers but you just cannot write off the defending champions as they will also see a win putting them back in the mix at the top.
Yes indeed, still early days but the competition is certainly beginning to warm.
As noted to you last week the ever successful Waterford Kellogg's Cul Camps will be taking place right throughout July and August. The following will be hosting the week two programme from 9th-13th July.
Club Co Ordinator
Clonea Kevin Barry 086-2215401.
DLS Gracedieu Joey Carton 087-9215541.
Gaultier Janet Cunningham 087-9728509.
Na Gaeil (Dunhill Pitch) Davie Phelan 089-4259417.
An Ghaeltacht Fionn MacGiolla Chuda 087-2437963.
Brickey Rangers Angela Whelan 087-2641164.
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