By Shane Brophy
After a bumper weekend of county hurling championship action, the path to silverware has become clearer for the clubs still standing.
Twenty adult championship games were played last weekend, but few lived up to their billing, bar the likes of the Upperchurch/Drombane who came with a storming finish to beat JK Brackens in the senior quarter final on Sunday, but arguably the result of the weekend was on Saturday where Burgess showed reserves of courage and skill to see off Cashel King Cormacs in the Premier Intermediate quarter finals, with Stephen Murray finishing with a remarkable total of 2-18.
In terms of the senior hurking championship, Drom & Inch, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Upperchurch/Drombane and Kiladangan remain standing and all four can harbour strong dreams that they can be lifting the Dan Breen Cup on October 23rd next.
Both semi-finals have been fixed for Sunday 9th October in a double-header at FBD Semple Stadium with Kilruane MacDonaghs drawn to face Upperchurch/Drombane in the curtain-raiser, followed by Drom & Inch v Kiladangan.
Both the premier intermediate semi-finals will be played the previous day in separate venues. Burgess and Roscrea will meet in Nenagh while in Cashel, St Mary’s take on Gortnahoe/Glengoole.
Both venues will host double-headers as they will be preceded by intermediate hurling quarter finals with neighbours Lorrha and Borrisokane clashing in Nenagh while Drom & Inch and Knockavilla Kickhams meet in Cashel.
The two remaining quarter finals will be played on the Sunday with Moneygall facing Kilsheelan/Kilcash in Clonoulty while Skeheenarinky meet Golden-Kilfeacle in Clonmel.
There will be no North representation in the Junior ‘A’ semi-finals after Toomevara and Borris-Ileigh both made their exit in the quarter final stage last Sunday to Moyle Rovers and Grangemockler/Ballyneale who join Upperchurch/Drombane and Thurles Sarsfields in the last four.
There is the potential for North teams to be relegated in all three grades after the semi-finals were played last weekend.
After coming up two points short against Mullinahone, Templederry Kenyons are in the last chance saloon when they meet Eire Og Annacarty in Holycross on Saturday week with the loser dropping to the premier intermediate grade.
The premier intermediate relegation final between Carrick Swan and Kiladangan takes place on 8th October while the intermediate basement battle between Ballinahinch and Shannon Rovers have been deferred to the weekend of 15-16 October.
Next weekend is semi-final weekend in football with the senior semi-finals between Clonmel Commercials v Moyle Rovers and Loughmore/Castleiney v double-chasing Upperchurch/Drombane taking place in Golden.
After securing the premier intermediate hurling status last Sunday, Ballina will hope to carry their recent upturn in fortunes when they take on a very good Grangemockler/Ballyneale side in the intermediate football semi-final in Littleton on Saturday, in a double-bill with the other semi-final between Golden-Kilfeacle and Mullinahone.
With Tom Cusack, Junior ‘A’ and relegation playoffs, it is a big weekend in Gaelic Football, and in the ladies’ game with its county finals taking place on Saturday and Sunday across the county.