Casement Social Club Junior Hurling Championship semi-finals
Cushendun Emmet’s v St Paul’s at Ballymena @ 1pm
Rasharkin v Con Magees at Armoy @ 1pm
Odds on favourites to win the title outright Cushendun Emmet’s face their toughest task to date in Saturday’s Junior Hurling Championship semi-final when they take on St Paul’s at Ballymena. So far it has been plain sailing for the men from the north coast running up massive scores in both games, scoring 13 goals and 56 points overall. In their opening game they hit Loch Mór Dál gCais for 6-25 and they bettered that in their second outing against St Agnes when they recorded 7-31.
St Paul’s haven’t been behind the door in the scoring stakes either scoring just two points less than their opponents, but they did it over three games rather than two. Their first win over Glenarm in Feystown saw them hit 5-16 in an impressive win, while they hit 3-20 at home to West Belfast neighbours Davitt’s. In their second visit to East Antrim the scores flowed once again at they hit 4-21 against Latharna Og at the Brustin Braes about Larne.
What good these facile wins have done either team will be hard to tell, though it has to be said St Paul’s wins came against better opposition than the teams beaten by the Emmet’s. Cushendun will go into this game as favourites but they are coming up against much better opposition than they have faced already this season. If St Paul’s can off to a good start they might just plant doubts in the Emmet’s minds, and who knows what could happen. This will be closer than many people think but the scoring power of ‘Loaf’ and his fellow forwards should get them home.
The other semi-final is a different matter as old rivals Rasharkin and Glenravel go toe to toe in Armoy. Games between these two are quite often fiery affairs and I would expect this one to be something similar. It is six years since these two met in the 2014 final in Loughgiel, the Glenravel men winning a really tight contest. Rasharkin went on to win the title the following year and contested well in the Intermediate for a few season. Neither team is that level just now but this will take nothing away from Saturday’s meeting. Whoever wins this one will go into the final as no hopers but that won’t matter one iota, as the winners will hold the bragging rights for another season and that is very important to both of them.