SUNDAY’S ALL-IRELAND senior hurling final draw, the first occurrence since 1959, is set to seriously delay the completion of the respective Kilkenny and Galway county hurling championships.
In Kilkenny the situation is more complex due to the fact that the group stages have yet to be completed in their senior hurling championship while in contrast to Galway, they must provide a team for provincial action this year.
The Cats senior club winners are pencilled in to play a Leinster SHC semi-final against either the Dublin or Wexford champions on November 18th.
That schedule may be changed given that there is a final round of games currently to be completed in Group 1 and Group 2 of the Kilkenny SHL. On Noreside the final placings in the league are used to determine the pairings for the first round and quarter-final stages of the senior championship.
Currently in Group 1 of the Kilkenny SHL it is Ballyhale Shamrocks (Henry Shefflin, Michael Fennelly, TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly) who are top of the table. St Martin’s (Thomas Breen), Fenians (JJ Delaney), Dunamaggin (David Herity, Noel Hickey and Willie Phelan), Tullaroan (Tommy Walsh) and Danesfort (Richie Hogan, Paul Murphy and Paddy Hogan) all in this group as well.
Group 2 is topped by Carrickshock (Richie Power, John Tennyson and Michael Rice) with O’Loughlin Gaels (Brian Hogan, Mark Bergin and Mark Kelly), James Stephens (Eoin Larkin, Matthew Ruth and Jackie Tyrrell), Erins Own (Conor Fogarty), Dicksboro (Cillian Buckley) and Graigue-Ballycallan the other teams in this group.
The Kilkenny intermediate championship will also be delayed with Group 1 teams including Tullogher-Rosbercon (Walter Walsh), St Patrick’s (Joe Brennan) and Emeralds (Aidan Fogarty) while in Group 2 there are sides like Clara (Lester Ryan), Rower-Inistioge (Kieran Joyce) and Glenmore (Eoin Murphy) involved.
Galway have already reached the quarter-final stages of their senior hurling championship, a direct result of the changes to the system of their club structure this year which ensured that the early round games would be completed during the summer. Several members of the current Galway squad are already through to the last eight with their clubs.
Gort (Aidan Harte, Richie Cummins, Jason Grealish ), Padraig Pearses (Fergal Flannery and Cyril Donnellan) have qualified from Group A. Then Castlegar and Portumna (Joe Canning, Andy Smith and Damien Hayes) have emerged from Group B.
Portumna attacker Joe Canning. Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan
From Group C, Turloughmore (Fergal Moore) and Mullagh (Davy Glennon) will feature in the quarter-finals. And in Group D, it is St Thomas (David Burke, Darragh Burke, Conor Cooney and James Regan) and Loughrea (Johnny Coen and Paul Hoban) who have secured the qualification spots.
In addition the Galway intermediate hurling championship will be delayed due to the presence of Cappataggle (James Skehill) and Rahoon-Newcastle (Tony Óg Regan) in the knockout stages.
Interestingly the drawn All-Ireland minor final has also had an impact in Tipperary with the county’s senior hurling semi-finals moved back a week to October 7th while Cork county board chiefs have also opted to avoid a clash with the All-Ireland final replay by rescheduling their county SHC final from September 30th to October 7th.