There are three games down for decision in Group B of the Michael Lyng Motors Hyundai Intermediate Hurling League this Sunday.
With all games throwing in at 5pm, Dunnamaggin take on Carrickshock in Ballyhale, Mullinavat will host the meeting of early pace setters Danesfort and Glenmore while O’Loughlin Gaels and John Lockes will be looking to bounce back after opening round defeats when they go head-to-head in Tom Ryall Park.
Read on to find out who we think will claim two points this weekend and who will be on the end of a second round defeat.
Dunnamaggin vs Carrickshock (Sunday, 5pm, Páirc na Seamróg)
Carrickshock come into this game on the back of a very convincing victory against O’Loughlin Gaels in their opening fixture.
They know what it takes to win the intermediate championship having tasted success in 2016. With experienced players such as Michael Rice, Jamie Power and John Power in their ranks, there is every possibility that they will be making a return to senior this year.
Dunnamaggin did not do themselves justice in their 4-16 to 1-17 defeat against Glenmore last weekend.
They have a full back line that on paper at least should shut down the goal threat that Glenmore seemed to have last weekend. Ian Walsh, captain Victor Costello and Darragh O’Keeffe all have the potential to be a nightmare for anyone who plays in the full forward line but they must deliver performances.
If they don’t manage to keep Carrickshock at bay they will suffer a second consecutive defeat. Last week’s showing would not suggest that they will be able contain the 2016 intermediate county champions.
Verdict: Carrickshock victory
Danesfort vs Glenmore (Sunday, 5pm, Mullinavat)
Glenmore were the surprise of the opening round for many as they easily dispatched of Carrickshock.
With Ger Aylward spearheading their attack and Eoin Murphy pulling the strings from centre back, nobody will look forward to going up against them this year.
The other players around those Kilkenny All-Ireland winners are more than capable of holding their own too as they showed against Carrickshock and they will be stern opposition for Danesfort.
Danesfort were ruthless as they disposed of John Lockes in the biggest victory across either group in the first round.
They were brilliant in attack and tight in defence as they scored the most and conceded the least of any intermediate team in their 2-23 to 0-12 defeat of John Lockes.
Their half back line is as good as it gets with Jake Cullen and Daire O’Neill either side of Paul Murphy. Padraig Mullen’s energy and athleticism compliments the skill and craftiness of Richie Hogan in the midfield and their entire forward line has huge scoring potential.
The key cornerstones of any winning team are littered across this Danesfort side and while Sunday’s clash with Glenmore will be a much tougher clash than last week’s procession, Eamon Phelan’s men should have too much for their opponents.
Verdict: Danesfort victory
O’Loughlin Gaels vs John Lockes (Sunday, 5pm, Tom Ryall Park)
Both these sides suffered disappointing defeats in their opening fixtures.
John Lockes were beyond poor in their 17-point loss to Danesfort while O’Loughlin’s never managed to get any momentum in their 2-14 to 0-13 loss to Carrickshock.
Truthfully, it would be a major shock if either side went far in the championship, and both would probabaly take another year of intermediate hurling in 2022 if they were offered it right now.
O’Loughlin Gaels are unsurprisingly made up of mostly young players while John Lockes seem to be lacking in certain departments.
This game is crucial for both sides as they attempt to get their season up and running.
Expect a tight and at times tetchy affair but O’Loughlin Gaels will come out on top in a single score win.
Verdict: O’Loughlin Gaels victory