Portumna remain everyone’s favourites as championship reaches the quarter-finals

The Cooper Senior Hurling Championship quarter-finals are down for decision this weekend with one game on Saturday evening, and the other games taking place in Ballinasloe and Athenry on Sunday.

Clarinbridge, having defeated a disappointing St Thomas side by 2-15 to 1-8 in the preliminary quarter-finals in Athenry last weekend, will face Tommy Larkins in Loughrea at 5pm on Saturday.

Former county star Mark Kerins was the star for the Bridge in that victory, hitting 0-9 (7fs ), while Alan Kerins also chipped in with three points. Their goals came from Paul Coen and Eoin Forde.

They will be without the suspended Jamie Cannon who was dismissed along with John Conroy (St Thomas ).

First into the action on Sunday is everyone’s championship favourites Portumna. They will take on Mullagh in Duggan Park in Ballinasloe at 1.30pm.

The Shannonsiders, who recently won the Kilmacud All-Ireland 7s title, are gunning for a fourth Galway SHC title in a row.

They will not have it all their own way on Sunday though as Mullagh have been making significant progress over the past few years and they were only beaten by a very controversial point by Loughrea in the county semi-final last year.

Despite Mullagh’s improving form, Portuma should have the firepower to advance.

It is impossible to believe the champions will be anything but professional and experienced enough not to take their opposition for granted.

Double header in Kenny Park on Sunday

An attractive double-header of championship hurling takes place in Athenry on Sunday with Liam Mellows taking on Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry at 4pm, and Loughrea and Craughwell meeting at 5.30pm

Liam Mellows had a rousing win over Sarsfields last weekend, coming through by 0-13 to 0-11.

The city side showed great character as they twice came from five-points down to advance with a polished and committed second-half performance.

Aonghus Callanan hit five points from play from full-forward and was the key scoring threat for Mellows.

His county colleagues, John Lee and David Collins, manned the central spots in the defence and both had impressive displays. Brian Lee also shot 0-3 from corner forward in a polished display.

The Mellows full-forward line shot a combined 0-10, while John O’Halloran also pitched in with 0-2 (1f ) to pave the way for their victory.

Despite that win, team manager Brian Hanley will know they will have to be out of the traps much faster this weekend if they are to defeat Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry who had a solid win last Saturday, beating Castlegar by four points, 0-12 to 0-8.

They had fine performances from Kevin Devine in goal, full back Liam Hodgins, Paul Gordon, Padraig Brehony, who hit four points from play at centre-forward, midfielders Ger Burke and John Brehony, and young Shane Maloney.

The final game of the weekend sees Loughrea taking on Craughwell at 5.30pm. Craughwell advanced to this stage by virtue of their preliminary quarter-final victory over Kinvara last Saturday by 0-11 to 0-8.

If Craughwell are to defeat Loughrea, they will need huge performances from Niall and Fergal Healy, Michael Coughlan, Keelan Greene and Jamie Ryan.


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