Three of the four semi-finalists in division one of the Tipperary Water County Hurling League are now known: Roscrea, Nenagh Éire Óg and Upperchurch-Drombane are through to the knock-out stage of the competition, but Drom & Inch could overtake Borris-Ileigh should they get the better of relegation-threatened Burgess next Tuesday night. Please read on for our round-up of all the action (up-to-date tables for all divisions included).
Division one is comprised of sixteen teams - two groups of eight with the top two teams in each group progressing to the semi-finals following seven rounds of games while the bottom team in each group will be relegated to division two.
Roscrea completed the round robin series with an undefeated record in group one following their 1-18 to 0-13 win over Clonoulty-Rossmore. Nenagh Éire Óg booked their place in the semi-finals thanks to a 4-16 to 2-9 win over Portroe while Loughmore-Castleiney presented Toomevara with a walkover. Group one will reach a conclusion on Sunday evening, June 23 when Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill take on Killenaule in Annacarty (5pm). If Killenaule win that contest Michael Ryan’s men will draw level with Loughmore-Castleiney and Portroe at the bottom of the division meaning that the relegation from group one could be determined by scoring difference - right now Loughmore-Castleiney have a -14 scoring difference, Portroe -21 and Killenaule -41. So, the South men require a huge win over Annacarty.
There was plenty of drama in group two on Sunday when Borris-Ileigh drew with Upperchurch-Drombane (1-12 to 0-15), Kiladangan beat Moycarkey-Borris (2-11 to 0-12) and Kilruane MacDonagh’s staved off any potential relegation concerns with a 1-18 to 1-16 victory over Thurles Sarsfields; that defeat ruled the Blues out of a place in the semi-finals.
Right now Upperchurch-Drombane are top on eleven points and Borris-Ileigh are second on ten while Drom & Inch are third on nine. Drom & Inch, however, face Burgess in the final game of the round robin series on Tuesday, June 25 at 8pm in Kilcolman.
If Drom & Inch win that contest they will knock Borris-Ileigh out of the running for a semi-final place and also top the group since they have the edge over Upperchurch-Drombane on the head-to-head rule - Drom beat Upperchurch (4-17 to 2-11) earlier this season.
Bottom-placed Burgess, of course, require a win over Drom & Inch in order to leap-frog Moycarkey-Borris and avoid relegation so Tuesday night’s game should attract a crowd to the North Tipperary venue.
Division two also features sixteen teams - there are two groups of eight teams with the top team in each group progressing to the final (both finalists are also promoted) while the bottom team in each group is relegated to division three.
Clonakenny’s spot in the final was under threat on Sunday when Paul Murphy’s men faced second-placed Carrick Swans, but the Mid Tipperary side responded to the challenge posed to win 4-12 to 1-15. Meanwhile Templederry presented Cashel King Cormacs with a walkover while Silvermines earned a win over Holycross-Ballycahill (2-14 to 1-15).
The final game in the group (Borrisokane v St Mary's Clonmel) is scheduled to take place at The Ragg on Tuesday, June 25 (7.45pm), but the game is of no consequence.
Lorrha-Dorrha booked their place in the final on Sunday when they beat Mullinahone (2-19 to 1-12) and finished top of group two while JK Bracken’s saw off the challenge of Shannon Rovers and finished second.
Newport proved too strong for Golden-Kilfeacle (5-16 to 1-15) while Ballingarry drew with Ballina (1-19 to 2-16). Both Ballingarry and Golden-Kilfeacle finished joint-bottom on two points, but since Golden-Kilfeacle beat Ballingarry earlier this season (4-12 to 0-9) the Ballingarry men have been relegated on the head-to-head rule.
In division three only the top team in each group progresses to the final while the bottom team in each group is relegated.
In group one Drom & Inch sealed their place in the final when beating Ballinahinch 1-19 to 0-19 while Lattin-Cullen Gaels accounted for Moyne-Templetuohy (2-15 to 1-14). Ballybacon-Grange have been relegated following the concession of more than one walkover.
Meanwhile Knockavilla Kickhams are top of group two on twelve points while Gortnahoe-Glengoole and Moneygall are joint-second on ten points. Gortnahoe-Glengoole’s contest with Clonoulty-Rossmore was postponed due to a bereavement over the weekend while in the key game Knockavilla Kickhams face a Moneygall team who could leap-frog them by virtue of the head-to-head rule should they prevail on Tuesday, June 25 in Dundrum (8pm). If Gortnahoe-Glengoole and Moneygall both win the place in the final will come down to scoring difference since all three sides would complete the round robin stage of the competition on twelve points. Moyle Rovers have been automatically relegated from group two since they gave more than one walkover.
Division four is comprised of twelve teams - two groups of six with the top team in each group progressing to the final (and also earning promotion to division three) while the bottom team in each group is relegated to division five.
The round robin stage of division four has now reached a conclusion. In group one Arravale Rovers are through to the final thanks to their 100% record. Meanwhile Carrick Davins have won group two and Skeheenarinky have been relegated.
There are eight teams competing in division five - the top two teams progress to the final and both are promoted to division four. Right now Newcastle and Cappawhite top division five on ten points and both sides are well-placed to make the final. On Saturday Cahir accounted for Thurles Gaels (2-18 to 0-19) while Ballingarry presented Clonmel Óg with a walkover.
Five teams compete in division six with the top two teams progressing to the final. Killea lead the group thanks to three wins (six points) and have a game to play while Knock, Rosegreen and Solohead are still in contention to make the final.
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