And then there were four
By Shane Brophy
There has been a sting in the temperatures over the last week as summer turns into autumn and just as quickly as the club championships got underway, suddenly we are now down to the business end.
In one of the most open senior championships in years, there are four teams left standing and we are guaranteed a cross-divisional final between the North and Mid following the draw made on Sunday evening.
Mid rivals Loughmore/Castleiney and Thurles Sarsfields will meet in the first semi-final on Saturday 30th September, and will be under lights with a 7.15pm throw-in as RTE expressed an interest in showing the game, with both clubs agreeing to the fixture. The live coverage is also a financial boon to the county board with a rumoured five-figure sum coming their way, and in a year where they are expected to post a deficit, it is a welcome boost to the coffers.
The following afternoon, Sunday, will see North rivals Kiladangan and Toomevara face off in the second semi-final. Kiladangan are heading into a fifth consecutive semi-final while Toomevara are in their first semi-final since 2018. Kiladangan have had their number at minor through senior level over the last decade, but Toomevara are confident at the moment and what a time it would be to right that record for their point to view to get to a first county final since 2009.
Last Sunday’s quarter final defeat for Clonoulty/Rossmore at the hands of Toomevara, means the senior relegation playoffs can begin with Clonoulty facing off against JK Brackens while Kilruane MacDonaghs taking on Upperchurch/Drombane in a repeat of last years championship semi-final. Both games will be played on the weekend of 30th September/1st October.
That weekend will also see the semi-finals of the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship with Thurles Sarsfields, Killenaule and Cashel King Cormacs all safely through, and will be joined by the winner of next Saturday’s quarter final between Lorrha and Clonakenny which was postponed last Saturday due to a bereavement in the Clonakenny club. No semi-final draw took place as repeat pairings are to be avoided whereby Lorrha couldn’t play Killenaule in a semi-final, but Clonakenny could if they reach the last four.
One North team will drop out of the premier intermediate grade as Newport and Portroe lost their respective relegation semi-finals to Moyne-Templetuohy and Sean Treacys respectively and will meet on the weekend after next. Kiladangan are in danger of back-to-back relegations as they will face Upperchurch/Drombane in the intermediate relegation final.
The intermediate championship semi-finals are set with last years runners-up Moneygall facing Boherlahan-Dualla with Golden Kilfeacle meeting Kilsheelan/Kilcash.
Ballinahinch are through to the semi-finals of the county junior ‘A’ hurling championship after beating Lattin Cullen in the quarter final last weekend. With the only other junior clubs left, Moyle Rovers and Clonmel Og, both losing their respective quarter finals, Ballinahinch will represent Tipperary in the Munster junior hurling championship regardless of how the rest of the county championship goes.
Roscrea will hope to join them in the semi-finals when they take on West champions Clonoulty/Rossmore in the outstanding quarter final on Saturday.
Next weekends quarter final action turns to the football with Ballina facing the ultimate test when they come up against Clonmel Commercials on Saturday in the senior last eight clash.
Next weekend also sees the quarter finals in the County Senior Camogie Championship with Borris-Ileigh and Burgess/Duharra one of the mouth-watering pairings when they square off next Monday night under lights.