It’s another big day of club hurling championship action in Laois with two SHC, one SHC ‘A’ and two IHC games down for decision.
The senior double header in O’Moore Park is a relative dead rubber while there is only final placings up for grabs in the Senior ‘A’ game.
Arguably the biggest two games are this evening in the intermediate grade where Camross and Clough-Ballacolla do battle for the second day running in championship hurling, this time with their second teams in the semi-final of this competition. The other semi-final is between Borris-Kilcotton and Mountmellick.
We look ahead to all of the action here.
Laois SHC – Portlaoise v Rathdowney-Errill
In O’Moore Park at 2pm
This is a complete dead rubber as no matter what happens Rathdowney-Errill are through to the semi-final and Portlaoise can’t avoid a relegation battle.
Rathdowney-Errill have been putting up massive scores and while they’ll be without the suspended Mark Kavanagh, they should have far too much for a Portlaoise side who have lost both games to date.
Laois SHC – Castletown v Ballinakill
In O’Moore Park at 3.30pm
Both of these sides are already through having both beaten Portlaoise but lost heavily to Rathdowney-Errill.
The winners will play … in the quarter-final in two weeks time while the losers will meet ….
Both are comfortably middle tier senior sides – too strong to be relegated but not strong enough to properly content.
Castletown have youth on their side but Ballinakill have greater experience and a better spread.
Laois SHC ‘A’ – Colt v Ballyfin
In Mountrath at 12noon
Both sides are assured of a knockout place but the winner will go straight through to the semi-final with the loser going to the quarter-final.
A draw would be enough for Ballyfin to top the group. It’s hard to see there being a whole lot in it but Ballyfin are perhaps slightly stronger.
Laois IHC Semi-final – Mountmellick v Borris-Kilcotton
In Slieve Bloom at 6pm
Having won the Junior ‘B’ in 2017 and the Junior ‘A’ in 2018, Mountmellick are enjoying a very eventful season at intermediate and are now just one game away from a third final appearance in a row.
This will be their sixth championship outing of the year and for a team pulling out of five football clubs all those games will stand to them.
They won’t fear Borris-Kilcotton having recorded their only league win over them – though Borris-Kilcotton later got to the final and Mountmellick finished second from bottom.
There shouldn’t be a whole lot in it but Borris-Kilcotton’s players have been training with their seniors all season and exposure to that higher level might edge it for them.
Laois IHC Semi-final – Camross v Clough-Ballacolla
In Shanahoe at 6pm
Camross have won their two games to date by 21 and 10 points against Ballypickas and Trumera respectively while Clough-Ballacolla have arrived here having to take an extra game.
They beat Mountmellick comfortably in their opening game but then lost by a point to Borris-Kilcotton before beating Rathdowney-Errill by the same margin.
Beaten in last year’s final, Camross have bolstered this team considerably with the addition of a number of players with senior experience.
They appear a team on a mission and it’s hard to see them being stopped at this stage.