Craughwell massive outsiders against St Thomas on Saturday

Brian Murphy of Turloughmore and Kinvara's Tadhg Reynolds in action from the Salthill Hotel senior hurling championship game at Kenny Park, Athenry, on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Brian Murphy of Turloughmore and Kinvara's Tadhg Reynolds in action from the Salthill Hotel senior hurling championship game at Kenny Park, Athenry, on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

There is only one county senior hurling championship game on this weekend when Craughwell, beaten by Beagh (2-18 to 1-14 ) in their first round game, face St Thomas at Kenny Park on Saturday (5pm ).

The logistics are simple.

The winners on Saturday will be in Group C for the championship race for the Tom Callanan Cup: The losers will face into a relegation group, joining Liam Mellows and Padraig Pearses in that particular dogfight.

Mulhollands bookmakers is offering odds of 5/1 on a victory for Craughwell, with the former All-Ireland champions St Thomas, who defeated Castlegar last weekend (0-17 to 0-11 ), boiling hot favourites at 1/8. The draw is priced up at 12/1.

Craughwell, under the management team of Stephen Glennon, Gerry Moloney, Kevin Lally and Cathal Whiriskey this year, will be looking for a far superior performance than the one they produced in late April in their seven-point defeat to Beagh.

Craughwell started poorly in that game and were eight points down (2-9 to 1-4 ) at half time. It is imperative they are out of the blocks much faster this weekend.

Up front they will be looking to Galway senior star Niall Healy, Jamie Ryan, Shane Dolan and Alan Callanan to try to puncture a few holes in the St Thomas rearguard. Defensively they will need team captain and goalkeeper Aidan Ryan, Ger O' Halloran and Mark Monaghan to produce major displays.

St Thomas, who collected the All-Ireland club trophy in March 2013, will want a win to give themselves a chance of getting a good run going in the domestic championship again.

Their victory last Saturday over Castlegar was not overly impressive, although they were very efficient up front with Conor Cooney and Éanna Burke both accurate and composed when in possession.

Defensively St Thomas' should be difficult to break down with Darragh and Cathal Burke and Robert Murray experienced campaigners.

They were also able to call on James Regan and Ritchie Murray to come in and make a positive contribution against Castlegar and that kind of strength in depth is crucial.

No doubt Craughwell will feel slighted to be 5/1 outsiders in a championship game, especially when St Thomas are not firing on all cylinders.

Whether they can process that anger and channel it into a match-winning performance and avoid elimination from the championship at this juncture remains to be seen.

Advertisement

 

Page generated in 0.1180 seconds.