With the National Hurling League taking a break this weekend the Tyrone senior hurlers will return to their clubs for some crunch games in the Ulster Senior Hurling League on Saturday afternoon.
As things currently stand, Carrickmore Eire Og’s; Naomh Colum Cille and Strabane Shamrock’s are all well placed to make strong title challenges in their respective divisions with the outcome of their weekend games determining their fate.
Tyrone senior champions Carrickmore Eire Og’s will hope to maintain their challenge in Division 3A, when they make the trip to the Cushendun to face the local Robert Emmett’s. John Crossey’s men are currently sitting in second place in the table behind leaders Clooney Gaels. They will meet Clooney in the final round of fixtures and, with Cushendun propping up the division the Tyrone men should be travelling to Clooney for the right to top the table on Saturday 2nd April.
Likewise, Naomh Colum Cille are motoring well in Division 3B having won two of their opening three games. Rising starlet Seamus O’Hagan posted 1-6 in last weekends impressive 1-13 to 0-11 victory over Ballela, but Ciaran Maloney’s charges face a difficult assignment against Lisbellaw. That game taking place in Derrytresk, at 3pm.
Dungannon are due to face Burt, at Hibernian Park in the same division, but given the Ruadh Rumble weekend fundraising activities, it is doubtful whether or not that game will proceed. Cappagh travel to Division 4A League Leaders Castleblayney Faughs for another testing afternoon’s hurling in St Mary’s Park, but the Gaels will take some comfort from the displays of young Tiernan Hughes and others in their opening three games as they prepare for the Tyrone league in the coming weeks.
Strabane are flying in Division 4B and, the Shamrock’s can maintain their unbeaten record with victory on the road to St Peters Warrenpoint. The North Tyrone men drew with their Shamrock’s namesakes from Newry in round one (3-10 to 0-19) and, since then they have continued to register eye catching scores of 1-18 and 3-12 in their victories over Coleraine and Michael Davit’s. Victory on Saturday in the Mournes would set up a top of the table shoot out with Antrim side Sarsfields at the start of April to see who will advance to the knock out stages.
Interesting times indeed for the Tyrone hurling fraternity with the Armagh Hurling League also due to start in the coming weeks. The big Tyrone derby of Dungannon and Carrickmore, at O’Neill Park on Friday 1stApril an excellent opener for the new campaign.