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Crunch time in Senior Hurling Championship

Senior Hurling Championship Round 3 Group 3 Broadford v Crusheen at Cusack Park, Sunday 12pm The Canon Hamilton may be out of reach but this is still a county final to both Broadford and Crusheen in a must-not-lose affair to avoid the unrepentant relegation play-offs that will cull two teams to intermediate level for 2022. It’s a difficult tie to call really as both have failed to register a victory so far, albeit that Broadford have shown the better form by putting it up to both Ballyea and Cratloe whereas Crusheen have had much less to shout about against the same opponents. Broadford’s battling qualities will be required as their track record in relegation play-offs isn’t good and therefore this represents the 2019 intermediate champions’ best chance of survival. Crusheen meanwhile haven’t won a Senior A Championship tie since 2019, a five match losing streak that won’t be easy to arrest on Sunday. Their transition stems from an ageing core …

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Super Sunday ahead in next round of senior championship

Senior Hurling Championship Round 2 Group 1 Inagh-Kilnamona v Clonlara at Cusack Park Ennis, Sunday 2.45pm A ‘Group of Death’ Super Sunday commences with the tie of the entire round as one perfect record has to fall between Inagh-Kilnamona and Clonlara. Originally pencilled in for a fortnight ago, the switch of Round 2 and 3 at Clonlara’s request gave Inagh-Kilnamona the opportunity to build further momentum by adding the scalp of O’Callaghan’s Mills to neighbours Kilmaley. Of course, Clonlara also overcame the Mills in their opening bout but considering the performances of both sides so far, it’s not overstating it to suggest that neither Inagh-Kilnamona or Clonlara are the finished article quite yet. Considering their strength-in-depth, attacking flair and inter-county experience, unfulfilled potential has been a nouse around their necks over the past decade. Inagh-Kilnamona have certainly benefitted from their two outings, with incremental improvements displayed against the Mills, even if they still have a tendency to leave their opponents …

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Seconds out for senior hurling Round 2

After graciously accommodating Clonlara’s request to switch Round 2 and 3 of the Group of Death following the wedding of Clare captain John Conlon and former Clare camogie player Michelle Caulfield on Monday, Clonlara now have a bye this weekend as Group 1 heats up further. Whitegate v Kilmaley at Cusack Park, Ennis Friday, 6.30pm C Maguire Having failed to maintain their bright opening half display against Inagh-Kilnamona, it’s now must-win territory for Kilmaley who simply cannot afford another set-back in the dreaded group of five. Getting back on the horse shouldn’t be an issue as Kilmaley, showed plenty of promise last Saturday at the same venue, without ever piecing together the consistency required to get the better of their neighbours. A fresh Whitegate will be determined to make a big impact in the championship bow and pour more misery over Kilmaley. And while they might have preferred to take Kilmaley out of the park, Whitegate did push champions Sixmilebridge …

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Ballyea and the ‘Bridge still ahead of the chasing pack

Group 1 – O’Callaghan’s Mills, Inagh-Kilnamona, Whitegate, Kilmaley, Clonlara The footballing ‘Group of Death’ bears only a mild toxicity to its hurling equivalent as while three teams advance directly to the last eight of the Jack Daly race, only two will emerge unscathed from this heavyweight pool. All but Whitegate have contested at least a semi-final since 2017 so it means that at least two genuine contenders for the Canon Hamilton will suffer a premature exit. While O’Callaghan’s Mills are the seeded team and don’t appear to have any hangover from last year’s final reverse, it’s a reinvigorated Clonlara, complete with returning county senior duo John Conlon and Colm Galvin for 2021, that might steal their thunder to top spot. In addition, the winners of the opening round derby between Inagh-Kilnamona and Kilmaley will be favourites to nick the other spot. Whitegate could topple one of the four but perhaps haven’t the depth to be in the mix come the …

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