The Harty Cup is getting down to serious business as the new year action quickly comes into focus after the festive period.
Three Tipperary schools have booked their passage to the last eight, with Thurles CBS, Cashel Community School, and Nenagh CBS all doing the business so far to qualify for the knockout stages.
The most striking tie of the round for Tipperary GAA followers is the clash of Thurles CBS and Cashel Community School who face off in Boherlahan this Saturday at 1.00pm.
Thurles CBS have been impressive to date and booked their place with a narrow first round win over St Flannan's of Ennis, before sealing safe passage with an emphatic victory over Our Lady's of Templemore.
They have a well balanced outfit with experienced operators at this level in Darragh Stakelum, Ciaran McCormack, Jack Leamy, and Joe Maher; all of whom have been top form in the campaign to date.
Cashel Community School have been one of the revelations of the competition this year, having had excellent wins against the same opponents in Our Lady's Templemore and last year's champions, St Flannan's.
The scoring feats of Ben Currivan and Cathal Quinn has paved the way for the big performances, but they've also had very solid performers elsewhere, with Ronan Connolly, Joey Davis, and Ger O'Dwyer shoring up a mean defence which has been air tight in the campaign so far.
It is hard to predict the result of this one, given their winning records against the same opponents, but it has all the makings of a very tight and exciting encounter and there shouldn't be too much between the sides in either direction.
Elsewhere, Nenagh CBS will face a tough test after they were drawn to take on De La Salle College in Bansha next Wednesday January 12th at 1.00.
In comparison to the other Tipp participants, it's been more of a mixed bag for Nenagh CBS, who lost their opening round game by a single point to Limerick's Ard Scoil Rís.
They were made to battle very hard in Round 2 in tough conditions in MacDonagh Park, Nenagh against Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaigh, who were tough to shake off, but the goals from captain Sean Kenneally and Jack Mulcahy helped them to a four point win.
They've had solid performers from Mason Cawley, Michael Ryan and Adrian O'Halloran, while Darragh McCarthy has impressed on the frees, but they will need to improve greatly on their performances from their games so far.
De La Salle have a lot of underage intercounty talent in their ranks, and booked their passage to the quarter-finals with victory over St Joseph's Tulla in a narrow win.
In the remaining match ups (which all take place on Saturday), Midleton CBS face Ard Scoil Rís in Mallow at 1.00pm while in the final game of the quarter-finals, St Joseph's Tulla will clash with Christian Brothers Cork. That game is fixed for Kilmallock and also has a 1.00 throw-in.
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