AFTER the county’s enthralling victory last weekend, the heroic senior players must return to the club scene for Round 2 of the Hyundai Limerick Motor Senior Hurling championship.
The first round threw up few surprises with the big boys asserting their dominance. However, with the groups formatted the way they are, it is now do or die for several sides.
Saturday, 7.30pm, Bruff
Garryspillane v Ahane
Both were victors in their opening encounters and both will be very much aware that victory would put one foot in the Quarter-finals. This should be a tight encounter but Ahane have been improving of late and they have the vital experience within their side which should help see them through.
Sunday, 7.30pm, Bruff
South Liberties v Croom
Both sides suffered defeat in round 1 and defeat will eliminate them from the championship, ensuring that they survive relegation becomes their priority. This is another tie where there will not be much separating the sides come the final whistle. If I were a betting man, I would have to pip for Croom just about.
Sunday, 2pm, Kilmallock
Granagh/Balingarry v Patrickswell
Patrickswell were ousted by a valiant Doon side while Granagh/Balingarry were outclassed by the Na Piarsaigh. It is ‘do or die’ for both sides now. The amalgamated side will be boosted by the return of Donal O’Grady and his influence may be crucial in this encounter. Patrickswell are a match for anyone on their day, however this may be test too stern for them.
Sunday, 3.30pm, Kilmallock
Doon v Na Piarsaigh
Doon may become the dark horses of this championship and a superb opening day victory signified they weren’t here just to make up the numbers. They face a city side oozing with class. No doubt this will be one hurdle too high for them. Na Piarsaigh to win as they have too much quality to cope with.
Prediction: Na Piarsaigh
Saturday, 7.30pm, Caherconlish
Murroe/Boher v Knockainey
Another game that could go down to the puck of a ball. Knockainey were surprising victors in there opening encounter, while Murroe/ Boher suffered defeat. Knockainey now face a higher calibre of opposition in this clash. With Muroe/Boher having more to play for, their determination could prove vital.
Saturday, Ballingarry, 7.30pm
Bruree v Adare
Bruree put up a poor showing in round 1 and are now facing a very much uphill battle. Adare are outside favourites for the championship and know another victory will ensure their passage to the knockout phases. Adare possess the superior quality to make the critical difference.
Sunday, Kilfinnane, 7.30pm
Hospital/Herbertstown v Effin
The two sides were both defeated in round 1 and this game could turn out to be the one that decides who ends up in the relegation playoff. Both looked out of sorts and a long way off the pace of the two front-runners. Should be a tight encounter, very hard to call.
Friday, Gaelic Grounds, 7.30pm
Kilmallock v Ballybrown
Ballybrown are another much improved side who could be dark horses but they face a mammoth challenge at the hands of the champions. Kilmallock looked superb in the opening round and they will be a force to be reckoned with. Expect a relatively comfortable victory. Only fatigue may hamper them.