Portroe's A.J. Willis in action against Cashel King Cormac's Conor O'Dwyer in the Ó Riain Cup IN 2021. Photo by Eamonn McGee

Pressure builds in open Premier Intermediate race

By Shane Brophy

The Premier Intermediate Championship lived up to its competitive billing in round one with a large number of games going down to the wire and it is expected to be the same for round 2 as the pressure builds to progress to the knockout stages.


St Mary’s v Sean Treacys in Bansha on Saturday @ 7.00pm.

St Mary’s were impressive winners over Newport in round 1, even if they were hanging on for the victory late on. They will be familiar with Sean Treacys from the Intermediate grade and both clubs have settled in well at the higher grade in recent years. Treacys will fancy their chances and will feel they should have more than a point to their name from the draw with Burgess. Verdict: St Mary’s.

Burgess v Newport in Nenagh on Sunday @ 2.00pm.

If St Mary’s were to win on Saturday, Newport will know only a win will keep their championship hopes alive. They have been struggling for form this year but the manner of their comeback, albeit unsuccessful, against St Mary’s should give them something to build on for a clash against their North rivals who drew with Sean Treacys in round one, themselves having to dig deep to recover from a slow start. Verdict: Newport


Kiladangan v Moyne-Templetuohy on Friday in Roscrea @ 7.00pm.

Both sides suffered heavy defeats in the opening round. However, Moyne-Templetuohy are bedevilled with injury with Gearoid O’Connor and Paul Maher joining it following their loss to Silvermines.

Despite having a player sent off after fifteen minutes, Kiladangan remained hugely competitive against Roscrea and to score 4-12 was good going down a man. If they win here, they’ll go a long way to preserving their second-tier status for another year. Verdict: Kiladangan

Roscrea v Silvermines in Toomevara on Sunday @ 3.00pm.

The sides met in a hugely exciting North semi-final just five weeks ago which went to extra time before Roscrea emerged narrow winners. The storyline from that game should build up this renewal nicely to see who has progressed more. You can claim both have with Silvermines impressive win over Moyne in round 1 while Roscrea rebounded from a North final defeat with a comfortable disposal of Kiladangan, but they’ll know and welcome a stiffer test that will come from the ‘Mines. Verdict: Roscrea


Gortnahoe/Glengoole v Thurles Sarsfields in Cashel on Friday @ 7.00pm.

Gortnahoe’s win over Killenaule was arguably the result of round one in the Premier Intermediate Championship. It suggests a well-driven team who fear no-one and should carry that momentum into a clash with Thurles who themselves impressed in claiming a draw with Ballina. Verdict: Gortnahoe/Glengoole

Ballina v Killenaule in Borrisoleigh on Saturday @ 2.00pm.

A huge game for both sides as both didn’t get the results they wanted in round 1. Ballina were disappointed yet relieved they got something from the match with Thurles Sarsfields but their wastefulness in front of goal will have to be addressed.

Killenaule looked like they had the match with Gortnahoe in command before being sunk late on. The pressure is now on last years runners-up who will likely be eliminated with another defeat. Verdict: Draw


Cashel King Cormacs v Portroe at FBD Semple Stadium on Saturday @ 5.30pm.

These two sides played out a spicey group stage clash last year in which no fewer than three players were sent off so that adds another ingredient to the tie of the round which gets the Semple Stadium treatment.

Portroe have been hugely gritty in their four games so far, three coming by one-point margins which shows their mental toughness at the most pressurised of moments. However, they’ll be up against a talented Cashel side who themselves had to delve into their reserves of composure to come from behind to beat Clonakenny. A likely battle between Robert Byrne and county teammate Ger Browne will be one to watch. Verdict: Draw

Carrick Swan v Clonakenny in Holycross on Saturday @ 7.00pm.

Both sides will feel they should be involved in a winners v winners match-up but such is the evenness of this group the loser will find themselves in a situation where they likely have to rely on a preliminary quarter final to keep their hopes alive.

Carrick Swan had the chances to beat Portroe in the opening round but didn’t take them, relying again on the free-taking of Danny O’Hanlon for a lot of their scores. Clonakenny have a potent attack but thirteen points against Cashel was a poor total but if they can get a dry sod, they can do damage. Verdict: Clonakenny