After almost 17 weeks of inactivity, the county senior hurling championship gets back underway on Saturday afternoon with 10 group games down for decision and the race to try to dethrone St Thomas begins in earnest.
The champions remain the favourites in the eyes of the odds compilers, but in truth it is a wide-open race in 2019 with as many as eight clubs with genuine hopes. Gort, Turloughmore, and Liam Mellows are right in the mix, while Loughrea, Cappataggle, Sarsfields, and Clarinbridge can also be ranked as contenders for honours.
Senior A's group one resumes with three matches as table-toppers St Thomas taking on Castlegar in Pearse Stadium. The Kilchreest/Peterswell side had plenty of injury worries earlier in the year, so it will be interesting to see how they shape up against an up-and-coming Castlegar outfit with a mix of youth and experience.
Turloughmore face Tommy Larkins, while Liam Mellows are expected to beat a Portumna side which should improve with Joe Canning’s return.
Group two has already produced two draws, and another tight encounter is predicted as Gort lock horns with Cappataggle in Loughrea.
Tynagh Abbey-Duniry are desperately looking for their first win when they take on Sarsfields, while Loughrea will be hoping to build on their unbeaten start when they play Kilnadeema-Leitrim.
With two rounds still to play, the shape of these groups should have become much clearer by Saturday evening.
In Senior B, Ahascragh/Fohenagh take on Craughwell in group one, Oranmore-Maree face high-flying Athenry, and Padraig Pearse meet winless Beagh. In group two, Abbeyknockmoy and Ballinderreen will be looking to claim their first points of the season when they play each other in Kenny Park.