Drumree and Dunderry will renew their rivalry in the IHC semi-final next Sunday.

Kildalkey and Dunderry look poised to advance


"Hello again how have you been since we last met?" That could make up the gist of the greeting some of the players involved in the weekend's IHC semi-finals might exchange with each other.

The four teams involved in the two showdowns have met already in this year's championship. Will that make a difference when the confront each other again? That is just one question that has to be answered as the race to secure a place in the IHC final really begins to boil and bubble.

Kildalkey v Rathmolyon: When these two teams met in Group A, Rathmolyon prevailed and no doubt they will derive some morsel of encouragement from that. They won 1-14 to 2-7 with John Farrell getting their goal while Jarlath Ennis and Gary Doherty helped themselves to four points apiece.

Yet before we start to take a deep, fact-confirming significance from that scoreline we should recall there were, for Kildalkey, mitigating factors. Just before the break Kildalkey's Luke Rickard was shown a red card. At that stage the sides were level, at 1-5 apiece. Sometimes losing a player can inspire teams but to play an entire second-half down to 14 men against lively, determined opponents proved too much for the team in blue on that occasion.

Kildalkey have an impressive array of talent at their disposal including experienced performers such as Derek Doran, Paul Fagan, Enda Fitzgerald, Enda Keogh and Sean Heavey. Warriors who still have so much to offer. They also have their contingent of talented young guns including Will Power, Ryan Byas, Tiernan Bird, Kelvin Lynch to name just a few. Then there is the richly talented Conor Kearney who has just returned from his overseas travels. It all makes for a pretty potent combination as was demonstrated in they way they built on a bright start to eventually subdue an enterprising Kilskyre/Moylagh side in the quarter-final.

Rathmolyon are proficient at moving the ball through the lines, fashioning chances and taking them with players like Ennis, Doherty, Trevor Healy and Stephen Mulligan proven score-getters, at least they were in the group win over Kildalkey. They can be again. Kildalkey, however have the talent to ensure they can copperfasten their place in the final. Verdict - Kildalkey.

Dunderry v Drumree: When these two teams met in the final group game it proved to be a real rollercoaster ride for both teams. Dunderry had a promising opening half and led 0-13 to 0-8 at the interval. They fell away and Drumree took control eventually pushing on to deservedly win 2-16 to 0-19 with the help of goals from Cathal McCormack and Niall Gavin.

Drumree were very impressive indeed in that second moiety, sharp, focused, clinical. The quality of that performance augurs well for Dermot Doyle's side going into this game. They have a first-rate marksman in Sean Doyle who can pop over points with ease. They can move the ball around with real purpose and drive, transitioning quickly from defence to attack.

Dunderry recovered from that defeat in the final group game to get the better of Gaeil Colmcille in the quarter-finals, 3-13 to 1-16. It was a morale-enhancing all-round, strong team display. Dunderry too looked sharp in moving the ball from defence to attack, sometimes passing through the lines, sometimes playing it long. They too have a top-notch sharpshooter in Luke Martyn with Conor Dempsey, Conor O'Shea and Jamie Leavy others that can make life difficult for opponents. Tommy Leavy's side can exact revenge here. Verdict - Dunderry.