Hurling championship hots up

After a full round of group games last weekend the Cooper County Senir Hurling Championship is again in full swing this Saturday and Sunday, with the preliminary quarter-finals down for decision.

There are some exciting games fixed for both days and there should be a good crowd in Athenry on both days, and also in Killimor on Sunday afternoon for the Loughrea v Tommy Larkins clash.

First up on Saturday as part of a double-header in Kenny Park is Mullagh v Liam Mellows (3pm ). The city side was beaten last Sunday by 3-13 to 0-16 by Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry and Brian Hanley will be hoping his charges can bounce back from that defeat.

Mulholland bookmakers heavily favour Mullagh and they are 8/15 to advance with Mellows available at 7/4.

Mellows will need massive performances from John Lee, David Collins, Brian Lee, Ross Bennis, Niall McInerney and free-taker Conor Hynes to win.

The second game in Saturday’s double-header is Sarfields and Craughwell at 4.30pm.

Former Galway minor football manager Gerry Fahy saw his Bullaun/New Inn charges draw last weekend with Turloughmore by1-10 to 0-13. They will need to improve on that performance if they are to reach the last eight. Sarfields are at evens; Craughwell slight favourites at 5/6.

There is more action in Athenry on Sunday at 1.30pm with an improving Tynagh-Abbey-Duniry outfit strong favourites to account for St Thomas.

Goals from Brian Cunningham, former Galway star Kevin Broderick, and All-Ireland minor winning midfielder Padraig Breheny saw T-A-D win a tough contest last Sunday over Liam Mellows.

At the back they have Liam Hodgins, Paul Gordon and Padraic Killeen to stand firm. In attack Ronan Madden shot six points (3fs ) last Sunday and that kind of firepower, allied to Breheny, Broderick and Shane Moloney in the full-forward line, should see them jump the St Thomas fence this Sunday too.

The final Cooper championship preliminary quarter-final this weekend is on in Killimor at 4pm on Sunday with Loughrea hot favourites to defeat Tommie Larkins. Loughrea are 4/1 on to win, with Tommie Larkins rank outsiders at 3/1.

Tommie Larkins were fortunate to win narrowly over Padraig Pearses in their final group game last Saturday night and many of the Pearses’ supporters were critical of the refereeing performance in their one-point defeat.

Loughrea should have too much in that one.

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