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Saturday 16 December 2017

Monumental battle for Minor football semi spots

There's a monumental battle going on for automatic places in the Wexford People Minor football Premier championship semi-finals at present.

HWH-Bunclody are strong favourites to take one spot after their win last week but St. Martin's, Starlights, Glynn-Barntown and Naomh Eanna are all vying for the second spot with two games remaining.

Castle-Craan Gaels are the first team to book their place in the Roinn 1 quarter-finals, a draw with Blackwater enough to secure a top four spot for the Craanford/Castletown combo. Their opponents last week are close to joining them, with Cloughbawn and Ballinastragh Gaels also going well.

Things are a little more complicated in Roinn 1B. While Geraldine O'Hanrahans are mathematically still in the mix, the top four places look like a shoot-out between Gusserane, Oylegate-Glenbrien, Shelmaliers, Volunteers and Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's, with just two points separating the quintet with two games to play.

St. Joseph's will host Crossabeg-Ballymurn and Ferns St. Aidan's will play Shamrocks, with the winners advancing to the Roinn 2 quarter-finals. Davidstown-Courtnacuddy are already there after topping 2A.

Roinn 2B is still in the group stages but Fr. Murphy's will take the automatic semi-final spot with victory in their final group game against Aughermon Gaels.

Naomh Eanna have secured a semi-final spot in the Enniscorthy Guardian Juvenile Premier A hurling championship after beating Rapparees last week. The Enniscorthy side face St. Martin's in their final game with second spot on the line, although Faythe Harriers can get in the mix if they beat Gorey.

Craanford kept their hopes alive of a spot in the quarters with a win in Premier B against Rathgarogue-Cushinstown. They must beat Shelmaliers in their final game to get amongst the Hollymount side and the New Ross District outfit at the top of the table.

Slaney Gaels are all but assured of a quarter-final spot out of Roinn 1A. Mathematically they can be caught by four teams but it looks like Rathnure, Oulart-The Ballagh, Blackwater, HWH-Bunclody and maybe Ballinastragh Gaels are all battling for three spots.

Things are less complicated in Roinn 2B where Glynn-Barntown, Crossabeg-Ballymurn, Horeswood and Cloughbawn will all book their place in the last eight of the championship if the Castleboro side beat St. Anne's in their next game, regardless of other results.

In Roinn 2A, Taghmon-Camross, St. James' and Kilross Gaels all look like making the quarters with one more to follow, while in Roinn 2B Askamore, St. Patrick's and Ballyhogue are all on course for the last eight.

There are six teams in the running for the four spots in the New Ross Standard Under-14 hurling Division 1 championship semi-finals. Any quartet from Faythe Harriers, Buffers Alley, Naomh Eanna, Glynn-Barntown, HWH-Bunclody and Rapparees could progress with two games to go.

The bottom four in Division 1 will drop into the Division 2 quarters where Oulart-The Ballagh, Blackwater and Fethard are all close to rubber-stamping their places. Elsewhere, Oylegate-Glenbrien will be in the Division 3 quarters following their narrow win against Davidstown-Courtnacuddy last week.

Division 4 is slightly more convoluted but Adamstown and Duffry Rovers are within touching distance of quarter-final places in Group A.

Despite losing to Kilmore last week, Cluain O'Rahilly's should take the automatic quarter-final spot in Group B, with their conquerors and St. Mary's (Rosslare) battling it out for the play-off spot.

St. James' walkover against Ballygarrett last week ensures they go into the Division 5 Cup quarter-finals with the remaining Division 4 teams. The other three, Taghmon-Camross, Cloughbawn and Ballygarrett, all drop into the shield competition.

Wexford People

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