SENIOR championship hurling is back – well, until Sunday evening that is when action concludes until August and the intercounty game takes centre stage once again.
The opening round of action whetted the appetite for so many and the thrills and spills of the club championship will be sorely missed during the summer months, but that’s how the schedule was designed and teams are forced to abide by.
Two weeks ago saw shock defeats, emphatic statements of intent and some enthralling games full of relentless action and intensity – everything you come to expect from Galway club hurling.
Twelve sides got their campaigns up and running with victories. Some were expected, others not so and for the 12 vanquished sides from the opening day’s action, they will feel as though getting a result is a must to have something to show for their early season efforts and something to build on when the action resumes in August.
Turloughmore and Liam Mellows were two of the standout performers in round one and their clash at Pearse Stadium on Saturday evening looks set to be a cracker. At the same time, Gort and Loughrea put their unbeaten records on the line in a game which will prove a serious litmus test of this young Loughrea side’s championship credentials.
On Sunday, Tommy Larkins will be confident of an upset against an injury-ravaged St Thomas’ side who will be desperate to get points on the board following their disappointing opening day defeat to Liam Mellows.
In Senior B, Oranmore/ Maree pulled off the result of the round when getting the better of Fergal Healy’s Craughwell. Rarely has an intermediate side come up and made such a statement in their opening round tie but with Ahascragh/Fohenagh to come this weekend, Gerry McInerney will be confident his side can head the group over the summer.
On the other side of the draw, Clarinbridge, Killimordaly and Ardrahan were all outstanding on day one and are again kept apart this weekend which could well lead to a three-way tie atop the group standings if results go along expected lines this weekend, though Mullagh will be eager to bounce back and could be the ones to buck that trend if they perform at their best.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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