After the excitement of Tipp’s victory in last weekend’s All-Ireland Minor Hurling Final replay the main focus in the county now switches to the County Senior Hurling Semi-Finals, which will be played at Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Eire Og Annacarty/Donohill take on Thurles Sarsfields at 2pm while holders Drom/Inch face Loughmore/Castleiney at 3.30.
The smart money would be on a Sarsfields/Drom final but the outsiders will have something to say about that.
Eire Og have been the surprise packets of the championship so far and they brought the good form from their great win over Borris-Ileigh in the previous round to the quarter-final against North champions Portroe, whom they defeated by 1-15 to 1-10.
If the West team are to upset the applecart yet again their main hopes will rest with players including county senior Conor O’Brien; Ronan O’Brien, Padraic O’Dwyer and the three Foxes – Brian, Kevin and county minor Tom.
They’ll have their work cut out against a Thurles Sarsfields team that has quality liberally sprinkled throughout the panel. County players Pa Bourke, Padraic Maher, Michael Cahill and Lar Corbett were all to the fore when they hammered Kildangan by 3-22 to 1-12 in the quarter-final, while Michael O’Brien and Denis Maher also made noteworthy contributions.
Drom also enjoyed a big win in their quarter-final, 2-22 to 0-13 over Clonoulty/Rossmore in a repeat of last year’s final. Their main men include Seamus Callanan, James Woodlock and former Tipp seniors Seamus Butler and Eamon Buckley, as well as goalkeeper Damien Young.
Loughmore were too good for Mullinahone when they beat the south champions in the quarter-final by 0-22 to 2-11. Noel McGrath was their leading light on that occasion and if Evan Sweeney, Liam McGrath, Liam Treacy, Eddie Connolly and county minor John McGrath can hit top form then they’re capable of winning and setting up a re-match of the Mid Final. If necessary extra time will be played in both matches.