Camross put Laois SHC title on the line against in-form Borris-Kilcotton

Rory Delaney

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Rory Delaney

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rory@leinsterexpress.ie

Camross put Laois SHC title on the line against in-form Borris-Kilcotton

Zane Keenan will be a key player for Camross this weekend.

The clubs are the same, but the roles are reversed. Last year it was Borris-Kilcotton looking to defend their title at the semi-final stage, while that fate now awaits Camross.

After their comprehensive win over Clough-Ballacolla to top their group, Camross have had a few weeks to fine tune any issues they have. A good few reared their head in those three group games, so the break was probably welcome.

They will have had a chance to get Dwane Palmer up to speed and it will be interesting to see how they tackle the challenge of Borris-Kilcotton this Sunday.

Borris-Kilcotton were very impressive last time out against Ballacolla. While the men in blue and gold were far from their vintage best, they were clinically picked apart by Borris-Kilcotton. There was a crispness to their play which would probably have seen them win regardless of how good or bad Clough-Ballacolla were.

With Neil Foyle missing out after undergoing surgery on a burst appendix, Conor Kilbane was pushed into attack and responded with 1-2 from play. Foyle is an experienced campaigner for Borris-Kilcotton, but his absence saw an injection of pace into their forward line, and he could yet struggle to regain his place in the team.

Aaron Dunphy was superb last time out and PJ Scully is really hitting his stride now as well, so they pose a threat from a number of angles. At the back, they are experienced down the middle and Stephen Finan is one of the best man-markers in the county.

While form is good, playing the way you want to play in a semi-final with Camross is not an easy thing to do. For many, the true litmus test for any emerging force in Laois hurling is whether they can face down Camross in a crunch championship encounter. Having failed to do that last year, Borris-Kilcotton now have the chance to make amends.

Camross have not been at their best so far, but knockout hurling brings the best out of them. They have buckets of experience and, in spite of mixed displays, still managed to top their group.

For Borris-Kilcotton, their quest to back up the 2016 success with another title is a powerful force. With all their talent they should be targeting more titles, and with the way they are playing, they might sneak the win.

Verdict: Borris-Kilcotton