Four Leinster champions return to action this weekend determined to secure a place in an AIB All-Ireland Club final.
Provincial titles were celebrated before Christmas but now the focus is on bringing further glory to their clubs at Intermediate or Junior level.
The hurlers from St Patrick’s, Ballyragget travel to Cusack Park, Ennis, on Saturday to take on Tooreen of Mayo. The Kilkenny side beat Glenealy of Wicklow in the Leinster Intermediate final in early December and will now face a club who defeated Ballinderreen of Galway in the Connacht decider. In the other semi-final on Sunday at Newbridge, Kanturk (Cork) take on Middletown (Armagh).
Also on Saturday, Westmeath side Multyfarnham also face Mayo opposition in the Junior Football Championship semi-final. Lahardane, managed by John Maughan, beat Ballymote of Sligo in the Connacht final, though the Westmeath outfit should be confident after ending their long wait for a county title and then confidently progressing through the Leinster campaign, which culminated in a victory over Erin Rovers of Offaly. Perhaps Multyfarnham will have someone to keep a watching brief on the other semi-final at TEG Cusack Park, involving Knocknagree (Cork) and Naomh Colmcille (Donegal).
The Junior Hurling Championship semi-final pits St Mogue’s of Fethard against Sylane of Galway at Parnell Park at 2pm on Saturday. The Wexford side defeated John Locke’s of Kilkenny in the Leinster final by three points and, should they secure another victory, will meet either Ardmore (Waterford) or Setanta (Donegal) in the All-Ireland final.
There’s been considerable focus on the AIB Intermediate Football Championship, with some famous names lining out for the successful clubs. These include Matty Forde of Kilanerin who inspired the Wexford club to a Leinster final victory over Ballyboughal of Dublin at the end of November. Kilanerin are fixed to play Michael Glavey’s of Roscommon at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park on Sunday while An Gaeltacht – home of the legendary Ó Sé family – meet Moy of Tyrone – featuring Sean and Colm Cavanagh – at O’Moore Park.
Here’s all the fixtures this weekend in the AIB Club Intermediate And Junior Championships:
Saturday, 20th January 2018
AIB All-Ireland Club JFC Semi-Final: Multyfarnham (Westmeath) v Lahardane (Mayo); Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon 2pm
AIB All-Ireland Club JFC Semi-Final: Knocknagree (Cork) v Naomh Colmcille (Donegal), TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, 2pm
AIB All-Ireland Club IHC Semi-Final: St Patrick’s, Ballyragget (Kilkenny) v Tooreen (Mayo); Cusack Park, Ennis, 2pm
AIB All-Ireland Club JHC Semi-Final: St Mogue’s, Fethard (Wexford) v Sylane (Galway), Parnell Park, Dublin, 3pm
Sunday, 21st January 2018
AIB All-Ireland Club IFC Semi-Final: Kilanerin (Wexford) v Michael Glavey’s (Roscommon); Bord na Móna O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 2pm
AIB All-Ireland Club IFC Semi-Final: An Ghaeltacht (Kerry) v Moy (Tyrone), O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 2pm
AIB All-Ireland Club IHC Semi-Final: Kanturk (Cork) v Middletown (Armagh), St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, 2pm
All-Ireland Club JHC Semi-Final: Ardmore (Waterford) v Setanta (Donegal), Pairc Tailteann, Navan, 2pm