Just two points separate the top five in the PIHC after three rounds.
The Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship makes its return this weekend as it gets set for the fourth round of group fixtures.
It’s been nearly three weeks since the final whistle blew on the game between Cappamore and Glenroe, the most recent game played before the break.
No side managed to win their opening three games, with four sides winning two, highlighting the consistency of team quality in the championship this year.
That leaves Bruff and Glenroe top with five points, the only undefeated teams thus far. Monaleen and Effin are a point back, one ahead of Newcastle West. Dromin Athlacca have two points, Knockainey one while last year’s finalists Cappamore are languishing bottom of the pile without a point.
This weekend will tell a lot in terms of the knockout stages with eight points generally needed to qualify for the semi-finals.
Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship
Round 4 Fixtures
Effin v Newcastle West
Thursday 1st September 6:15pm in Feenagh
Effin were victorious last time out in the PIHC, with a win against Knockainey providing a second win on the spin for the side after they lost their opener. Outside of the day one defeat to Bruff, It’s been a great start for the side after they were promoted from the IHC last year and they’ll look to build on that Friday.
Newcastle West have had a taste of all outcomes so far in the championship, with a third round loss against Monaleen leaving the side with a record of 1-1-1. Jimmy Lee’s men have the chance to leap-frog their opponents in the table with a win on Friday. However, a loss would leave them on three points from four rounds with the West side likely needing to win their remaining games to have any chance of reaching the last four.
Bruff v Monaleen
Thursday 1st September 6:15pm in Caherconlish
Bruff sit in second place at the moment, level on points with leaders Glenroe with both teams managing five points from a possible six. A win in the last round for the side against Dromin-Athlacca maintained their unbeaten start after they were surprisingly held to a draw in their second outing. On five currently, they can put daylight between them and Monaleen with a win on Thursday.
Monaleen have struggled to find consistency in the Premier Intermediate ranks since their relegation from the SHC last season with a W-L-W record so far. They got the better of NCW in the last round and they’ll be hoping the break hasn’t knocked away their momentum. A win over Bruff will guarantee joint-top spot (at worst) until Sunday at the least.
Dromin-Athlacca v Cappamore
Sunday 4th September 1pm in Kilteely
Since their one point victory over Knockainey, Dromin-Athlacca have been unable to pick up any more points with two losses on the bounce. A decent performance against Bruff where they only lost by three points will need to be followed up and corrected for if they want to make the top four. Yet, Dromin Athlacca should have been comfortable winners against Bruff, leading by nine midway through the first half.
It’s been a miserable start to the championship for Cappamore, with three losses from three. A two point loss in the opening round to Monaleen was the closest they’ve got to any form of points this season after reaching the final in 2021. Undoubtedly have the talent to challenge, they need a win on Sunday if they are to have any hopes on progressing. Fail to win and they will be looking at avoiding relegation in the last three rounds.
Knockainey v Glenroe
Sunday 4th September 6pm in Knocklong
Knockiney have struggled so far in the competition with the side sitting in seventh place with only point. Their draw came in the second round, which happened to be against Bruff, who sit joint top of the table. That will give them confidence as they meet Glenroe, who are also on five points.
Glenroe lead the pack as things stand, with point difference separating them from Bruff. The side have rectified their opening round draw against Newcastle West with two comprehensive wins against Monaleen and Cappamore, and they’ll hope the break hasn’t hampered their early season form.