Sunday JAHC semi-final, Kilbree v St James’, Ahiohill, 6pm
The 2016 champions Kilbree will face surprise packets St James’ in the second of the junior A hurling semi-finals and will start hot favourites to end Ardfield’s dream of a first final appearance in this grade.
Kilbree were really tested by Diarmuid Ó Mathúna’s in round 1, surviving a late rally to win by two points, 2-16 to 1-17. Don McCarthy was star of the show with 12 points that day.
They received a bye into the quarter-final, where they met reigning champions Clonakilty, winning by 1-20 to 2-11. McCarthy hit 0-11 in this game with Darragh Coakley scoring 1-3. Besides that pair, Kilbree will look to Damien O’Gorman, the Keohanes, Brian and Kevin, Dylan Coffey, Ray Collins, Jonathan Deasy and Brian O’Donovan to power them to their second final in three years.
St James’ are after a hectic season, also reaching the semi-final of the football before losing to champions, Kilmacabea.
In round 1 of the hurling, they lost to Dohenys by 3-11 to 2-11, before recovering to beat Bandon in the losers’ group by 0-19 to 0-10.
They had a cracker of a game in round 3 against St Mary’s, winning by 2-18 to 2-15, with ace full forward Kieran O’Donovan rifling home 2-4. James O’Driscoll and Mícheál McCarthy (B) were stand-out figures that day as well.
That win put them into a quarter-final meeting with St Colum’s and as in most of their games this season, they started as underdogs in that clash. However, goals by O’Donovan and O’Driscoll (a penalty) saw them winning by 2-15 to 0-15.
St James’ will again enter this semi-final as rank outsiders but will look to O’Donovan, O’Driscoll, the two Mícheál McCarthys, the Evans brothers, Mark and Ian, Eoin Deasy, Paul O’Sullivan, goalkeeper Diarmuid O’Donovan, Kevin O’Brien and Aaron Hayes to land yet another surprise win in 2018.