Casement Social Club Junior Hurling Championship
The four quarter finals of the Casement Social Club Junior Hurling Championship are down for decision on Saturday, with a full day’s programme of games.
Sat. 1pm @ Dunsilly
Cushendun Emmet’s v Lamh Dhearg
The action gets underway at Dunsilly at 1pm where Cushendun Emmet’s take on Lamh Dhearg. The Hannahstown men have done really well to qualify for the knock-out stages after being beaten in their opening game against Con Magees Glenravel by 1-18 to 0-8 at Fr Maginn Park. However the 2017 Junior Champions bounced back last weekend to upset the odds and beat St Teresa’s despite being written off by our Saffron Gael pundit Paddy McIlwaine.
It has been plain sailing so far for one of the JHC favourites Cushendun who had a massive 6-25 to 0-12 win over Loch Mór Dál gCais in their opening round, before putting up an even bigger score against the Aggies last weekend, winning in the end by 7-31 to 2-4. With score like that the Emmet’s will start this repeat of the 2016 final at the hottest of favourites, though the Hannahstown men would take great delight in proving the Saffron Gael wrong again.
Sat. 4pm @ Whitehill, Randalstown
Con Magees v Loch Mór Dál gCais
After losing their opening game so heavily to Cushendun it would have been hard to find too many pundits who would have given Loch Mór Dál gCais a chance of reaching the knock-out stages of the competition, but the men from the Lough shore bounced back the following week to beat St Agnes by 4-13 to 3-12, a result that must have lifted spirits greatly.
Con Magees opened with an eight point win over St Teresa’s in Belfast in hard physical battle which was a little too physical at times, hence the four sending offs. They followed that up with a home
win over Lamh Dhearg in Glenravel. They have been badly hit by injuries and the unavailability of some dual players, and had to coax some of the more mature hurlers out of retirement to make up the numbers for that Lamh Dhearg game. That situation should have improved a little because the footballers are no longer involved and they should have too much for Loch Mór on Saturday.
Sat 4pm @ Dunsilly
St Paul’s v All Saints
St Paul’s have impressed in their three games in Group 1 and have claimed all six points without ever being threatened. Their two trips into East Antrim against Glenarm and neighbours Larne saw them run up big scores, the 5-16 to 1-10 win over Shane O’Neill’s on the opening day being particularly impressive. They then went on to beat Davitt’s at home with a bit to spare before heading back into the East when they ran up another impressive scoreline at the Brustin Braes against Latharna Og.
All Saints, who have Niall and Brian Kearney helping out their backroom team this season lost their opening game to Rasharkin, but they gave a good account of themselves that day and in their second outing they secured a quarter final place with a 2-27 to 0-9 win over Ardoyne in Ballymena. Like a few other clubs that have been restricted a little because of the success of their footballers, who have made it through to the semi-finals of the Intermediate Championship.
St Paul’s, who are in the exact same position with their footballers in the Intermediate semis, will go into this one as firm favourites. They might not have things all their own way, but they should make it through safely to the semi-finals.
Sat 4pm @ Glenariffe
St Mary’s Rasharkin v Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm
This game could well be the tie of the round with not a lot to choose between the two sides. When Glenarm lost heavily to St Paul’s on the opening day they their back were against the wall, but they responded well with a 3-23 to 0-9 win over Latharna Og in the East Antrim derby the following week before receiving a walk-over when Davitt’s did not field in the last game in this four team group.
Rasharkin beat All Saints in their opening game and although they won in the end by seven points, they were made to work hard at times. Their last outing against Ardoyne at the Cliftonville Road was one way traffic and they ran up 9 goals and 22 points, but just what good that will do them remains to be seen. The fact they are going in as group winners must make the St Mary’s men favourites, but Glenarm will feel they can win this one and book a semi-final spot. Toss of coin!