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Gullanes Hotel Junior A previews...by Wingback   02/11/2012

The first of this years Gullanes Hotel Junior A semi-finals takes place in Duggan Park Ballinasloe when old foes and neighbours Loughrea and Mullagh do battle for a place in this years final. Meanwhile the quarter-final replay between Portumna and Castlegar takes place on Sunday in Craughwell.


Mullagh v Loughrea, Junior A semi-final

This is yet another installment in the on going saga of these two great rivals. Only recently both Clubs Senior sides served up two great games in this years quarter-finals so this has the potential to be just as good.

Loughrea qualified out of a very difficult group which included last years Junior B Champions Michael Breathnachs and also last years beaten A finalists Ballygar who were well fancied to win it out this year. The Lakesiders then progressed to a semi final with a hard fought win over Skehana and this year they seem to have a good balance in the team with some former senior stars of recent years filling key positions around the field.  Loughrea won this title in 2009 and much of that side still remains and along with some of the victorious Minor A team of the same year they are sure to be title contenders.

Mullagh themselves are no strangers to Junior A semi-finals and finals and won this competition as recently as 2008 when they defeated Skehana. This year they finished second in the group behind the aforementioned Skehana with victories over Kiltormer and Tommie Larkins and in the quarter-final they impressively beat Ballygar putting up a tally of 2-20 in the process. That certainly made people sit up and take notice of the threat Mullagh posess this year. Much of that 2008 team are still there along with some good fringe senior players and Manager "Scamp" Hardiman will be glad to have the services of a man who seems to run on" Duracell" and thats Ray Duane who after his tally of 2-09 in last weekends Junior C Semi Final defeat to Meelick Eyrecourt is still a threat in any forward line and certainly worth a mention this week

The lads on these two teams are fairly familiar with each other as most have been educated together, socialise and even work together in some cases, but for an hour or so on Saturday that will all be left aside and the colour of the jersey will be all that  matters. That said when the final whistle goes hands will be shook and friends reacquainted no matter what the result is. That is the nature of these two clubs.


Portumna v Castlegar, Junior A quarter-final replay

On Sunday in Craughwell the last of this years Junior A quarter-finals will be decided when Castlegar take on Portumna in a replay as the sides drew when they met three weeks ago.

Last years Intermediate side Castlegar are always competitive at this grade and won it as recently as 2007 when they defeated Meelick-Eyrecourt. They have really impressed this year in both League and Championship and with four wins from four in Group D they have racked up some good scores while their defence has not conceded much.

Portumna are another side more than familiar with the knockout stages of this Junior A competition but unfortunately for them they have been defeated in three finals in the last decade with Kiltormer, Tommie Larkins and Gort all got the better of them on those occasions. However they are a side that never say die and their persistance year after year has to be admired. This year with the services of some Ex Senior's they will have a good side with plenty of experience - the type of experience that made Portumna such a successful Senior side.

Both sides may feel they didn't perform when they last met or were even perhaps lucky, but they have what not many others had this year and thats a second chance. Sunday in Craughwell and both sets of supporters are in store for a right good game of hurling and to see who will face Barna Furbo in the semi-final.

Wingback 


JHC A Semi-finals
Mullagh v Loughrea, Sat 3rd Nov in Ballinasloe at 1:00pm
Barna-Furbo v winners of Portumna / Castlegar


JHC A Quarter-finals
Loughrea 1-12 beat Skehana 0-11
Mullagh 2-20 beat Ballygar 3-9
Portumna (1-8) drew Castlegar 0-11, Sun 4th Nov in Craughwell at 11:00am
Barna-Furbo 0-10 beat Sylane 0-9

Note: Championship format was 4 groups (1 x 4 sides, 3 x 5 sides). The top two teams in each group qualifies for the quarter-finals, which will be an open draw, with teams from each group being kept apart.


GROUP A
Qualified for quarters
Skehana and Mullagh

Skehana top this group with a 100% record with a final match win over Mullagh securing the pole position. Mullagh come in second after two good wins over Kiltormer and Tommie Larkins, but know they have a bit of work to do after the defeat Skehana.

Team Played Won Lost Drawn Points For Points Against Points Diff Points
Skehana 3 3 0 0 65 40 25 6
Mullagh 3 2 1 0 50 46 4 4
Tommy Larkins 3 1 2 0 34 44 -10 2
Kiltormer 3 0 3 0 22 41 -19 0
Results to date:
Mullagh 2-16 beat Kiltormer 1-8
Mullagh 1-15 beat Tommie Larkins 1-12
Skehana 2-13 beat Kiltormer 0-11
Skehana 3-17 beat Tommie Larkins 3-10
Skehana 2-14 beat Mullagh 2-4
Tommie Larkins beat Kiltormer conceded


GROUP B
Qualified for the quarters
Ballygar and Loughrea
This group came to an exciting conclusion last weekend with the meeting of Ballygar and Turloughmore in the last group fixture. It was a must win game for both sides and it was the North Galway side who won on a scoreline of Ballygar 1-10, Turloughmore 1-9.
That result jumps Ballygar to the top, while Michael Breathnach lose out for the second place to Loughrea due to the result between them in the previous group match in which Loughrea beat them. It will be disapointment for the Connemara side who won their final two group matches against tough oposition from Liam Mellows and Turloughmore.
This group never failed to entertain and credit to all sides who gave us one of the most competitive groups of the year. 

Ballygar 4 2 0 2 69 59 10 6
Micheal Breathnach 4 2 1 1 69 53 16 5
Loughrea 4 2 1 1 76 64 12 5
Turloughmore 4 1 3 0 64 71 -7 2
Liam Mellows 4 1 3 0 60 91 -31 2
Results to date:
Liam Mellows 3-13 beat Turloughmore 0-17
Ballygar 1-9 drew Michael Breathnach 0-12
Loughrea 2-13 beat Michael Breathnach 2-10
Turloughmore 3-13 beat Loughrea 3-12
Loughrea 0-16 drew Ballygar 1-13
Michael Breathnach 4-14 beat Liam Mellows 0-9
Ballygar 0-28 beat Liam Mellows 3-10
Michael Breathnach 1-12 beat Turloughmore 1-10
Loughrea 2-14 beat Liam Mellows 1-7
Ballygar 1-10 beat Turloughmore 1-9


GROUP C
Qualified for the quarters:
Portumna and Barna-Furbo
Another exciting group. This group ended with 3 sides finished level on top with 6 points each, which resulted in a play-off. In the first playoff match Portumna beat Craughwell by 3-16 to 1-15 to secure their berth in the quarters. The other qualification spot went to Barna-Furbo, who were awarded the abandoned match over Craughwell after an investigation.
  
Team Played Won Lost Drawn Points For Points Against Points Diff Points
Bearna-Na Forbacha 4 3 1 0 98 63 35 6
Craughwell 4 3 1 0 90 60 30 6
Portumna 4 3 1 0 54 55 -1 6
Meelick - Eyrecourt 4 1 3 0 29 66 -37 2
Menlo Emmetts 4 0 4 0 56 83 -27 0
Results to date:
Barna-Furbo 2-15 beat Menlo Emmetts 2-11
Craughwell 3-14 beat Meelick-Eyrecourt 1-6
Meelick-Eyrecourt 0-16 beat Menlo Emmetts 2-6
Portumna 1-14 beat Craughwell 2-10
Portumna 0-16 bea Menlo Emmetts 2-6
Craughwell 4-9 beat Barna-Furbo 0-19
Barna-Furbo 3-22 beat Meelick-Eyrecourt 0-4
Barna-Furbo 5-12 beat Portumna 3-12
Craughwell 3-21 beat Menlo Emmetts 0-15
Portumna beat Meelick-Eyrecourt conceded
Group play-off results:
Portumna 3-16 beat Craughwell 1-15
Barna-Furbo v Craughwell


GROUP D
Qualified for the quarters:
Castlegar and Sylane
This group went to the wire with a recent winner takes all match between Sylane and Sarsfields, in which the North Galway men scored a narrow one point win to have them progress to the quarters. Castlegar won an impressive 4 from 4 to top the group and lay a strong marker for their championship challenge.
Team Played Won Lost Drawn Points For Points Against Points Diff Points
Castlegar 4 4 0 0 88 46 42 8
Sylane 4 3 1 0 67 40 27 6
Sarsfields 3 1 2 0 41 29 12 2
An Carnmore 4 1 3 0 59 87 -28 2
Padraig Pearses 3 0 3 0 28 81 -53 0
Results to date:
Sarsfields 2-22 beat Carnmore 1-7
Castlegar 2-16 beat Sylane 2-8
Castlegar 5-14 beat Padraig Pearses 1-11
Carnmore 5-13 beat Padraig Pearses 2-6
Castlegar 1-9 beat Sarsfields 0-7
Sylane 3-15 beat Padraig Pearses 0-2
Castlegar 2-19 beat Carnmore 1-8
Sylane 4-10 beat Carnmore 1-7
Sylane 0-7 beat Sarsfields 0-6



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