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Dicksboro face Gaels in final again

Leinster round-up

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Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Colin Fennelly runs past Des Dunne of Danesfort during the Kilkenny SHL Group ‘A’ Round 3 match in Callan

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Colin Fennelly runs past Des Dunne of Danesfort during the Kilkenny SHL Group ‘A’ Round 3 match in Callan

SPORTSFILE

Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Colin Fennelly runs past Des Dunne of Danesfort during the Kilkenny SHL Group ‘A’ Round 3 match in Callan

A lot of serious business was sorted in the Kilkenny Senior Hurling League over the weekend, which laid the pathway for the start of the county championship.

The hectic action will continue at Nowlan Park next weekend with an all-city league final, which is a repeat of last year's decider between holders Dicksboro and O'Loughlin Gaels.

The Shield final between the runners-up in the league groups will see last year's beaten finalists Clara play James Stephens.

The remaining eight clubs now know their opponents in the first round of the championship, the draw for which was decided by finishing places in the shortened league.

These matches will be played on the weekend after next.

Defending league holders Dicksboro are certainly cutting out an impressive trail having won their opening three matches by a combined 34 points.

Erin's Own were their latest victims, cut down by a blast of 1-3 between the 40th and 44th minutes with scores from Mark Nolan, Darragh Holohan and Tom Kenny followed by a goal from Liam Moore.

That volley opened out a gap of 3-13 to 1-11 as the Boro sailed to a convincing 3-19 to 1-11 success.

O'Loughlin's were caught on the line by a 64th-minute point from Luke Scanlon as James Stephens scrambled a gutsy 2-16 each draw in their clash. The draw was enough to edge O'Loughlin's through to the league final against their Kilkenny city rivals.

In the other games, there were wins for Clara over Rower-Inistioge (3-23 to 2-16); Bennettsbridge over Tullaroan (2-22 to 1-18) with Ciarán Brennan shooting 1-5; Ballyhale Shamrocks over Danesfort (3-22 to 1-16) while Mullinavat recorded their first win, beating Graigue-Ballycallan (0-18

Meanwhile, two of Meath most distinguished clubs, Navan O'Mahonys and Skryne, are in relegation trouble after weekend defeats in the SFC.

O'Mahonys are 20-times Keegan Cup winners and after losing to Donaghmore/Ashbourne in the opening round, they suffered a 3-12 to 0-11 defeat to Na Fianna leaving them firmly rooted at the foot of their group.

Ethan Devine hit one of the winners' goals, while Jack McNally and Conor Downey also found the net.

Skryne have never been relegated from senior ranks and are second to O'Mahonys in the honours list but they are also seeking a first win after losing to Ratoath by 1-10 to 1-5.

Last year's beaten finalists Summerhill overcame three black cards and a red card to defeat Wolfe Tones 2-6 to 0-10, while a Seán Meade-inspired Nobber, beaten 24 points by Ratoath in Round 1, shocked Simonstown by 2-16 to 0-20.


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