The Palmer Cup kicked the club hurling scene to life over the weekend, with three local derbies providing some cracking action on Saturday afternoon.
Reigning Laois SHC champions Clough-Ballacolla opened their campaign with a hard-fought victory over Rathdowney-Errill in Ballacolla, with full-forward Shane Hanlon to the fore with 2-2. Hanlon struck for the first of his goals in the first half to help Ballacolla into a 1-9 to 0-6 lead at the break, and when he steered home his second not long afte the restart, the game looked well and truly over. A brace from Rathdowney-Errill’s Donal Bowe brought them right back into it, but they couldn’t bridge the gap and eventually lost out by just two points.
An ever-improving Abbeyleix team had six points to spare over Ballinakill, with Dayne Peacock hitting ten points en route to the win. It was a well-contested game, but Dan Coffey’s late goal finally put the game beyond Ballinakill, for whom Eamon Jackman accounted for all but three of their scores.
In the other game played on Saturday, Borris-Kilcotton forward Ciaran Comerford landed a massive injury-time free to seal a dramatic win over Camross. Comerford had been Borris-Kilcotton’s main source of scores for most of the game, and his personal battle with Zane Keenan was one of the highlights. The game was a closely contested throughout, with the sides level at half time, but Comerford’s late score finally tipped the scales in Borris-Kilcotton’s favour.