Third round of SHC fixtures to be played this week after a three-week break.
The Senior Hurling Championship makes its return this weekend after nearly a month of no action to accommodate the return of the SFC.
On Thursday night, Kilmallock were in scintillating form as they put Adare to the sword to get their title defence back on track.
After the last of round of fixtures, Na Piarsaigh sit top of Group One with two wins from two. Three teams are level on two points behind them with Ahane and Adare both sitting on one point each in the bottom two.
Group two sees Ballybrown ahead of the pack with four points from a possible four. Four teams sit on two points while Blackrock are rock-bottom after they lost their opening two games.
Round three sees some interesting battles across the board, with a repeat of the 2019 SHC final taking place in group one with a battle between first and second in group two.
Senior Hurling Championship
Doon v Ahane
(6:15pm on Friday 2nd September in Cappamore)
The three-week break came at the wrong time for Doon as they were able to notch their first win in the second round against Adare. They would hope that the momentum is still with the side ahead of the game as they face the side they beat in the group stages of the 2021 edition.
Ahane, on the other hand, are winless so far in the competition with a draw against Adare in the first round followed up by five point loss to Patrickswell being their fortunes so far. Ahane will take solace from their performance against the Well but Doon could welcome back a number for the clash which they will expect to win.
Patrickswell v Na Piarsaigh
(6:15pm on Saturday 3rd September in Kilmallock)
The pick of the bunch this weekend, a repeat of the 2019 final. Patrickswell were victorious that time around but it would seem that Na Piarsaigh would be the favourites for this fixture. Patrickswell are still without Cian Lynch which has proved to be a huge loss so far.
The two sides have also met in the knockout stages of the competition in 2020 and 2021, with both sides getting the better of each other each time. Na Piarsaigh have the better record so far in this year’s competition but nonetheless, Saturday’s fixture will be a right battle.
However, expect the Caherdavin side to come away with the spoils.
Kildimo Pallaskenry v Ballybrown
(6pm on Saturday 3rd September in Askeaton)
Ballybrown are the team to beat so far in the group with two wins from two and a very impressive 22 point difference. The side were unable to make it out of their group last year and went on to lose the relegation final but have looked a different beast so far.
KP sit second in the group but level on points with four other sides. They got their first win of the season in the last round against South Liberties and will look to carry their momentum into the fixture and go level on points with Ballybrown.
In a City derby, it could go either way but Balllybrown are no doubt favourites.
Blackrock v South Liberties
(6:15pm on Saturday 3rd September in Cappamore)
Blackrock remain the only side in the senior grade yet to win any points from their opening fixtures. The side remained in the SHC after winning the relegation final by two points against Monaleen last year and they look to be heading in the same direction unless they pick up points in their next fixtures.
They face a South Liberties that have won and lost a game so far in the competition, with their most recent fixture being a loss to KP. Sixteen points separated the sides in the group stages last year in South Liberties favour and they’ll be hoping for the same to keep them in contention of qualifying for the quarters.
Garryspillane v Mungret St. Pauls
(6:15pm on Sunday 4th September in Doon)
Both sides make up the four that sit on two points after the opening pair of fixtures. Garryspillane got theirs in the previous round against Blackrock while Mungret got a win in their opener against KP in what was their first game back in the senior grade after winning the 2021 Premier IHC.
Garryspillane failed to make it out of their group last year after winning the 2020 relegation final but will be looking to make it to the knockouts this year and a win on Sunday will guide them towards that. Similarly, Mungret St Pauls can put daylight between them and one of the chasing pack with victory.
Arguably the toughest game of the weekend to call.