As the South Tipperary Division moves toward the concluding stages of the championships, excellent fare awaits patrons and this weekend in particular promises lively action.
The big game is the Martins Fruit & Veg Intermediate Hurling championship final which will see holders St. Marys and Ballybacon-Grange cross swords in Cahir on Sunday at 3-30 pm with Andy Moloney referee.
Ballybacon-Grange have a record second to none in the competition and are back in a final after their spell in the premier grade. They scored a bloodless 2-18 to 0-12 success over Fr. Sheehys in the semi-final and will be favourites to taste another O’Dwyer Cup success. Their side is a mixture of experience and youth with Brendan Cummins, Alan O’Gorman and Johnny English leading the veterans and players like Billy Hewitt, Craig Carrigan, Tom Kirwan and Daniel O’Regan to the forefront among the younger brigade.
St. Marys shocked Moyle Rovers to win their second title in the grade last year and they repeated the feat by again accounting for the Powerstown/Lisronagh outfit in the semi-final. They are improving with every outing this year and will not surrender their crown without a mighty battle. They will be looking to players like Donncha Fahey, Seamus Kennedy, Stephen and Gearoid Buckley, Brian Carroll and Brian McDonnell to provide the leadership and momentum to put two titles back to back. It should prove a contest not to be missed.
Other clashes of considerable appeal on Sunday include the 5-30pm meeting of Kilsheelan/Kilcash and Ballingarry in the John Quirke Jewellers Junior Hurling (A) semi-final at Clonmel Sportsfield. Both sides approach this tie with excellent credentials and with Skeheenarinky awaiting the winners in the decider we should see a most competitive tussle.
Earlier in the day the Europlan Junior Hurling (B) decider between Killenaule and Cahir is timed for 1-30 pm in Fethard GAA Park. Cahir were defeated finalists a year ago whilst Killenaule are on the crest of a wave following their South senior football championship success and would dearly welcome a hurling crown.
Football fans will be catered for at noon on Sunday in Ballylooby where the quarter-final of the Mulcahy Construction Junior Football (B) championship will be decided between Ballyporeen and Clerihan.
The weekend programme is scheduled to commence on Friday evening with two key ties in the Chadwicks Minor (A) hurling championship. Ballingarry and St. Marys will do battle in Kilsheelan whilst Kilsheelan Gaels will oppose Swans in Ned Hall Park. Both ties are timed for 6-15 p.m.
On the same evening and at the same time in Clogheen The clash of Cahir and Ballybacon-Grange in the minor hurling (B) semi-final looks sure to be a crowd puller.
On Saturday the Pat Cleere U21HC clash of Grangemockler/Ballyneale and Fr. Sheehys is at Ned Hall Park at 5 p.m.