Previews and Predictions ahead of final round of group games in Laois senior hurling championship

Previews and Predictions ahead of final round of group games in Laois senior hurling championship

The attention turns back to hurling this weekend with the Senior hurling championship knockout stages set to be fully decided come Saturday evening.
With two groups of four, the top team in each group will go directly into a semi final while the second and third in each group will fight it out in semi finals.
The bottom team in each group will contest a relegation final with the loser of that bound for Premier Intermediate hurling in 2022.

Abbeyleix v Camross – Thursday September 23 – O'Moore Park 7.30pm
The action starts this week in group B when Abbeyleix and Camross clash on Thursday night. This is one of the game this weekend where the stakes are huge.
The winner of this game will go into the quarter finals while the loser will be looking at a relegation playoff.
Abbeyleix impressed in their opening round draw with Borris-Kilcotton and will feel that it was a potential win that they let slip through their grasp. They were the better team over the hour but Borris-Kilcotton came back well in the end and the game ended all square.
They lived with Rathdowney-Erill was a large part of the game in round two as well and they are a team that looks to be on an upward curve.
They sit on one point, just ahead of their opponents Camross who are bottom without any points. That all could change on Thursday evening though as a win would see them leapfrog Abbeyleix and into the last quarter final spot.
Camross hurled well in patches against both Rathdowney-Errill and Borris-Kilcotton and while they may be a bit off from condending for the championship, they will be eager to make the knockout stages having failed to do so last year.
It's a tough one to call but on the basis of what we have seen from both teams so far, the nod goes to Abbeyleix
Verdict: Abbeyleix

Rathdowney-Errill v Borris-Kilcotton – Friday September 24 – O'Moore Park 7.45pm
Both of these teams are already through to the knockout stages from group B but there is stilla prize on offer with the winner getting a direct route to a semi final.
It won't be the end of the world for the loser but momentum can be important and neither will want to any form of weakness towards the other.
The injury to Ross King is a cruel blow to Rathdowney-Errill but they have been boosted by the return of Mark Kavanagh and Eric Killeen from lengthy injuries after they were both brought on in their win over Abbeyleix two weeks ago.
PJ Scully and Aaron Dunphy have been shooting the lights out for the Borris-Kilcotton men and they will have to keep that run going if they are going to come out on top.
On the balance of it, Rathdowney-Errill look to be the better equipped to get the win but it is all on the day and Borris-Kilcotton were only in the 2020 County final last month and on their day, are as good as any team in the championship.
Verdict; Rathdowney-Errill

Clough-Ballacolla v Castletown – Saturday September 25 – O'Moore Park 5.30pm
Both teams are safely through to the knockout stages from Group A but like the Rathdowney-Errill and Borris-Kilcotton game, the prize on offer for the winner is to avoid a quarter final and to straight to the last four.
Castletown have really turned a corner from last year having only just survived in staying senior. They are two wins from two with wins over Rosenallis and The Harps and have looked the part, scoring heavy and all round looking well drilled.
This is an acid test for them as they face the reigning champions who themselves hit form in dismantling Rosenallis in the last round.
It's a free hit though for Castletown and the worst than can happen is a quarter final spot which would have been their main aim for the year.
Clough-Ballacolla have continued to impress following on from a 2020 County final win last month. They have a serious scoring threat and with a solid defensive structure in place, they are the team to beat again.
Verdict: Clough-Ballacolla

Rosenallis v The Harps – Saturday September 25 – O'Moore Park 7pm
A massive game for both teams. Both pointless from their opening two games but a win for either would put all that in the past as it would guarantee them a quarter final spot. Rosenallis came up to senior in 2020 while The Harps are the newly promoted side but one of them will be consigned to a relegation final come the final whistle on Saturday.
It's a tough one to call. The Harps have probably shown a bit more so far this year but games like this really do come down to 'on the day'.
It will be a big downer for the loser as Rosenallis made a senior semi final in 2020 and the last thing The Harps will want is to be fighting for their life in a one off match against Camross or Abbeyleix to maintain their senior status.
Verdict: The Harps

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