Creagh Concrete Minor Hurling Championship preview
Ballycastle v Rossa at Dunsilly – Throw-in 6-30
Loughgiel v Cushendall at Armoy – Throw in-6-30
Tomorrow night (Thursday) sees the two semi-final of the Creagh Concrete Minor Hurling Championship with Group 1 winners Loughgiel taking on Cushendall in Armoy while Group 2 winners Ballycastle face Rossa at Dunsilly
Loughgiel and Ballycastle topped their groups and so qualified to go straight through to the semi-final while Cushendall, who were in the same group as Loughgiel, made their way through thanks to a win over Group 2 runners-up Oisins. Rossa were in the same boat and after losing narrowly in their Group 1 game to Loughgiel in the round-robin series they finished runners-up and last week beat Dunloy, who were third in Group 2
Loughgiel are the overall favourites to defend their title and will go into Thursday evening’s game against Cushendall as short odds favourites. They were in the same group as Cushendall and beat them convincingly on the opening day of the campaign back in July, running out winners that day by 2-15 to 0-7. The Ruairis put up a much better display in their second game against Rossa but still lost by 1-13 to 0-14, but they still qualified because their group had only three teams and took advantage of their good fortune by beating Oisins Glenariffe in last week’s quarter final in Waterfoot.
The Ruairis will go into the game confident they can do better against the champions than they did in that opening day in July, but the Shamrocks must start favourites to advance to their third final in a row.
Ballycastle were winners of Group 1 with three wins out of three, running up big scores against Oisins, Dunloy and Corpus Christie Gaels along the way. However they face a tough task against a Rossa side who were just edged out of top spot in Group 2, when they were beaten narrowly in extra time in their round-robin game at Rossa Park. In last week’s quarter final win over Dunloy they were in control all the way and despite losing their way a little near the end of the first half they had too much in the tank for Dunloy and won in the end by 5-17 to 2-08.
The extra game may have done Rossa a favour and could have a bearing on Thursday’s semi-final as Ballycastle haven’t had a match since their last group game three weeks ago.
MINOR B HURLING SEMIS
In the Minor B semi-final Con Magees Glenravel have home advantage over Cloney Gaels, Ahoghill as do Tir na nÓg who take on Loch Mór Dál gCais at Whitehill.