By Kevin Regan
The Carlow Senior Hurling Championship kicked off in earnest last weekend and there’s not much time to ponder for all 6 teams as they face into Round 2 action over the weekend.
This weekend its Mount Leinster Rangers up against a high flying Ballinkillen side in Netwatch Cullen Park on Saturday at 6pm which forms the first part of a double header with Erin’s Own facing St Mullins at 7.30.
While on Sunday it’s Naomh Brid up against Naomh Eoin which also has a 7.30 start in Netwatch Cullen Park.
Mount Leinster Rangers V Ballinkillen
Last Friday Ballinkillen caused somewhat of an upset with a comfortable victory over Naomh Eoin. The manner in which they won the game was highly impressive.
This weekend they face a totally different animal in 2014 All Ireland Finalists Mount Leinster Rangers. Eamon Scallan’s side got the better of St Mullins last weekend by 10 points, despite having trailed by 4 points at the break.
Eddie Byrne was in top form for Rangers and caused havoc throughout, while Marty Dalton did what he has done for over half a decade now in nailing crucial goals.
It’s understood that Craig Wall will be available for Ballinkillen this weekend and this would be a big boost, however Rangers should still progress but it may be a lot closer than some people may expect.
Verdict: Mount Leinster Rangers
St Mullins V Erins Own
Erin’s Own will take to the field for their first championship game this season after their clash with Naomh Brid was postponed last weekend.
St Mullins on the other hand will be looking to bounce back from that hefty defeat to MLR last week and one would expect a serious backlash from the men down South.
Erin’s Own are of course without a host of players for a variety of reasons but will not be fearful of the reigning champions ahead of the clash.
Having said that, you would still expect a St Mullins victory.
Verdict: St Mullins
Naomh Eoin V Naomh Brid
The Bookmakers odds suggest that this will be an easy victory for Naomh Eoin, with Naomh Brid priced as 11/2 outsiders.
Naomh Eoin were extremely poor against Ballinkillen last weekend regardless of the fact that they were without some of their key players.
Naomh Brid’s game with Erin’s Own didn’t go ahead last weekend and there is very little talk coming from the camp in recent weeks which makes this game all the more intriuging.
Apart from one or two cases, there has generally been very little to separate these sides down through the years and this should be a lot closer than the bookmakers expect at least.