Camross and The Harps are still in the hunt for a place in the ACHL Division 1 final after they both claimed important victories last Friday night.
Camross had seven points to spare over Rathdowney-Errill in Derrynaseera to draw level at the top of the table with Rathdowney-Errill, who are just ahead of Camross on points difference. Zane Keenan was scorer in chief for Camross, who lead for most of the game, having been 0-10 to 0-7 ahead at the break.
Goals in the second half from Damien Keenan and Tadgh Doran kept them on the front foot in the second half, and if they can pick up a win in their final game against The Harps, they should seal a date with Clough-Ballacolla in the league final.
In the same group, Castletown-Slieve Bloom’s disappointing form continued on home soil, as they slumped to a 2-10 to 0-9 loss at the hands of John Taylor’s Harps side, with Michael Lanigan’s imperious form continuing for the winners. Lanigan hit 0-14 the last time out against Ballinakill, and he chipped in with 1-5 last Friday to see the Durrow men to a comfortable win.
All that means that in Group B, four of the five teams are level on four points having all won two games, with the place in the final going down to the final round of matches.
Rathdowney-Errill currently sit top of the table on scoring difference, but having played all four of their games, their final position in the group is out of their hands.
Next come Camross, Ballinakill and The Harps, in that order. The incentive for finishing top of the group goes beyond the place in the final, as there is also seeding for the championship later in the year.
With the top team in each group going straight to the final, the other four teams will be paired off for the preliminary round of the championship based on their league standing, and already we now know that Portlaoise will play Castletown-Slieve Bloom in that round, as Portlaoise are currently guaranteed second place in Group A.
Clough-Ballacolla are already through to the final with one game still to place, with Abbeyleix and Borris-Kilcotton tied on two points each having claimed just one win, while Ballyfin have no points, and conceded their game to Portlaoise over the weekend.
In the final round of games, Clough-Ballacolla face Ballyfin and Abbeyleix host Borris-Kilcotton in Group A, while The Harps welcome Camross and Ballinakill is the venue for their clash with Castletown-Slieve Bloom, as the tension begins to build on the local club hurling scene.