County hurling quarter-finals on this weekend

The four Cooper Galway Senior Hurling Champinship quarter-finals are down for decision this Saturday and Sunday. There is no extra-time planned in these games and in the event of a draw, replays are to be played on Sunday week, October 16.

The action starts in Athenry on Saturday (4.30pm ) with Craughwell and Carnmore in action.

There are three games down for decision on Sunday. Portumna take on an improving St Thomas in Duggan park at 12 noon, and in the afternoon there is an attractive double header in Kenny Park, beginning with Clarinbridge vs Mullagh (3pm ) and Gort in action against Loughrea at 4.30pm.

Craughwell v Carnmore

Saturday 4.30pm Kenny Park

Despite being the only team to win all group games and the only defence not to have conceded a goal in the championship to date, Mike Fox and his Carnmore team are rank outsiders with Mulhollands in this quarter-final. They are 15/8, with Craughwell at 1/2.

Craughwell beat Sarsfields 1-16 to 0-16 last week, coming from 0-16 to 1-9 down with 15 minutes to go. They hit the last seven points and that showed a lot of belief and bottle. It was even more impressive considering that county star Adrian Cullinane had been shown a straight red card late in the first half.

Mike Coughlan scored 1-2 from play and Niall Healy impressed from frees for the winners.

Portumna v St Thomas

Sunday at 12 noon Duggan Park

St Thomas defeated Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry by 2-9 t 0-11 last weekend with Gerry Murray their double goal scorer. They will fancy their chances against Johnny Kelly’s team which will be without the suspended Joe Canning and Andy Smith.

Despite those absences, the Portumna boys are 4/6 to advance, with the youthful St Thomas available at 11/8.

Clarinbridge vs Mullagh

Sunday 3pm Kenny Park

Mullagh had a solid 1-19 to 2-8 win over Liam Mellows last weekend and they will believe they can advance to the last four this Sunday against the reigning All-Ireland champions.

Niall Cahalan was their top scorer with 0-8 (6fs ). The impressive Davy Glennon hit three points in the first half and their goal was scored by centre-forward Johnny Raftery.

When these sides last met at this stage in 2009, it was Mullagh who won easily on a 3-17 to 1-12 score-line. Mulhollands do not expect that result to recur this weekend and Clarinbridge are strong favourites at 4/9, with Padraig Donohue’s men 2/1 outsiders.

Gort v Lougrea

Sunday 4.30pm Kenny Park

This has the makings of a humdinger of a game. Mattie Murphy’s Gort outfit have been moving very well this season, but Loughrea are never easily beaten and they have been in five county finals over the past 10 years. They had to dig deep once again last weekend to see off Tommie Larkins on a 1-13 to 0-14 score-line.

Gort beat Loughrea 3-16 to 2-11 in the group stage, but knockout is different and there is expected to be very little between the sides. That is reflected in the odds on offer, with Gort at evens and Loughrea, who were county champions back in 2006, at 10/11.

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