It’s quarter-final weekend in the St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship with all four games live on KCLR.
League champions’ Tullaroan take on Erin’s Own in the opening game on Saturday afternoon (2.30pm throw-in) before Bennettsbridge meet James Stephens later in the day (4.15pm throw-in).
Then on Sunday, Dicksboro face Mullinavat in the first of a double header (2pm throw-in) that is completed with the mouth-watering clash of five-in-a-row chasing Ballyhale Shamrocks and Clara (3.45pm throw-in).
See also: St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny SHC quarter-final preview – Can Erin’s Own upset the odds against in-form Tullaroan?
With all of the ties taking place at UPMC Nowlan Park, it promises to be a feast of hurling action for supporters across the county.
Here, we preview the final quarter-final of the weekend between Ballyhale Shamrocks and Clara.
Ballyhale Shamrocks vs Clara – St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final – Sunday, 3.45pm, UPMC Nowlan Park
It’s hard to imagine a team who wouldn’t fear Ballyhale Shamrocks after they racked up 3-26 in their dismantling of Glenmore in last weekend’s first-round championship clash.
TJ Reid, Eoin Cody, Adrian Mullen, Colin Fennelly, Eoin Kenneally and Niall Shortall is as good a forward line out there at the moment and you would expect they will wreak havoc on the Clara back-line on Sunday.
See also: St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final preview – Who will come out on top between Bennettsbridge and James Stephens?
That doesn’t mean Kevin Ryan’s side will lie down and accept defeat.
They have energetic and potent forwards of their own and reached three consecutive county finals between 2013 and 2015, winning the first and third installments of that trilogy.
They are battle-hardened and are one of few teams who will feel as though they can front up to the daunting challenge ahead of them.
Realistically, that is the only way any team can get past the Shamrocks, who are going in search of an unprecedented fifth consecutive county title.
See also: St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final preview – Will Mullinavat shock Dicksboro and eliminate another city club?
Clara will put it up to the Shamrocks given they already defeated the Leinster champions in this year’s league, but it is hard to see how they will stop them in the championship when Pat Hoban’s side have a tendency to find a route to victory one way or another.
Verdict: This will be a close game but Ballyhale Shamrocks will pull clear in the home stretch. Expect a three-to-five point win for the county champions.
You can find out who will take their place in next weekend’s St Canice’s Credit Union Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship semi-finals on KCLR as we bring you live coverage of the quarter-final ties this Saturday and Sunday, with Ballyhale Shamrocks and Clara concluding a busy weekend of hurling from 3.45pm on Sunday.