Pádraic Maher and friends pictured accepting the cup following Thurles Sarsfields' 2017 Mid Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship final win over Upperchurch-Drombane. Photo: Eamonn McGee
The next eight days will feature four divisional hurling championship semi-finals and six Tipperary Water-sponsored county league finals during a frantic period of club action with the semi-finals in the Centenary Agri Mid Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship and the Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship likely to attract bumper crowds.
The semi-finals in the Centenary Agri Mid Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship take place this week - on Wednesday, July 25th JK Bracken's take on Thurles Sarsfields in Templetuohy (7.30pm) while on Friday, July 27th Holycross-Ballycahill and Loughmore-Castleiney collide at The Ragg (7.30pm).
Both Thurles Sarsfields, the defending champions, and Loughmore-Castleiney will be hotly fancied to prevail and renew their storied rivalry in the Mid Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship final. However, no one should discount the challenge of JK Bracken's and Holycross-Ballycahill - there simply has to be a real sting in such proud clubs.
In the quarter-finals Thurles Sarsfields saw off the challenge of Upperchurch-Drombane (1-19 to 1-16) while JK Bracken’s proved too strong for Clonakenny (2-23 to 1-13). At the same stage of the competition Loughmore-Castleiney beat Drom & Inch (0-27 to 0-17) and Holycross-Ballycahill comfortably won their contest with Moycarkey-Borris (2-18 to 1-11).
All four clubs will, of course, already have an eye on the week-ending Sunday, August 12th when the county intermediate and senior hurling championships are scheduled to swing back into action - round two of the county senior and intermediate football championship is provisionally scheduled to take place on the week-ending Sunday, August 19th.
The semi-finals in the Hibernian Inn North Tipperary Senior Hurling Championship are both fixed for Friday, July 27th (7.15pm) - Kilruane MacDonagh's face Toomevara in Dolla while Kiladangan take on Nenagh Éire Óg in Templederry.
In round one of that divisional championship Kiladangan received a bye before dethroning defending champions Borris-Ileigh in the quarter-finals (3-12 to 1-16). Nenagh Éire Óg beat Ballina (4-24 to 0-14) and Burgess (2-23 to 0-9) to reach this stage of the competition while Kilruane MacDonagh's proved too strong for Lorrha-Dorrha (3-22 to 2-14) and Newport (1-19 to 0-11). In round one Toomevara beat Roscrea (0-16 to 1-11) while the Greyhounds saw off the challenge of Portroe in the quarter-finals (3-15 to 0-17).
And, Tommy Dunne, who leads the Toomevara project alongside Denis Kelly and Kevin Cummins has a busy weekend ahead of him - his beloved Greyhounds are preparing to face Kilruane in a North semi-final on Friday night while Dunne also guides the fortunes of the Tipperary team against Kilkenny in Sunday's All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship semi-final.
“If I am being honest I was hoping that it wouldn’t be the same weekend, but when you are double jobbing these are the things that happen. So, you just manage it. In a way it’s a nice headache when you are involved in two big games - you can’t have it every way,” Tommy Dunne told the Tipperary Star this week - please click here for the full interview with Tommy Dunne.
Both the West and South senior hurling finals have already taken place - Clonoulty-Rossmore beat Éire Ó Annacarty in the West decider earlier this year (0-20 to 1-15) while on Sunday last down South Killenaule proved too strong for Mullinahone (0-20 to 1-12).
Incidentally, the Martin Fruit & Veg South Tipperary Intermediate Hurling Championship final is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 29th - Carrick Davins face Ballybacon-Grange in Monroe (7pm).
COUNTY LEAGUE FINALS
A whole plethora of county league semi-finals and finals are scheduled to take place over the coming days.
On Tuesday, July 31st defending champions Borris-Ileigh take on Nenagh Éire Óg in the Tipperary Water County Hurling League divison one final at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh (7.30pm) while the division two decider features a contest between Loughmore-Castleiney and Kilruane MacDonagh's on Wednesday, August 1st in Moneygall (7.30pm).
The County Hurling League division four semi-finals will see Clonoulty-Rossmore face Boherlahan-Dualla on Wednesday, July 25th in Clonoulty (8pm) while on Friday, July 27th Drom & Inch take on Gortnahoe-Glengoole in Holycross (7.30pm).
The division five County Hurling League final is fixed for Tuesday, July 31st - Grangemockler-Ballyneale and Kilsheelan-Kilcash collide at Davin Park (7.30pm).
Sunday, July 29th will feature both division six semi-finals: Clonmel Óg take on Newcastle in Ned Hall Park (12 noon) while Ballingarry face Ballylooby-Castlegrace in Ballingarry (12 noon).
Three finals in the Tipperary Water County Football League also take place this weekend - rivals Clonmel Commercials and Moyle Rovers meet in the division one decider on Sunday, July 29th in Cahir (12 noon) while at the same time in Bansha Cahir and Rockwell Rovers collide in the division two final. The division three final in the County Football League takes place on Thursday, July 26th when Killenaule take on St Patrick's at Fethard GAA Park (8pm).
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