Abbeyside v Dungarvan in Fraher Field Sunday September 1st at 7.30pm.
It’s a pity that such an important an unique fixture will be played under lights as hurling is a day time game and we have been waiting for decades for a Senior hurling championship knockout game between the greatest of local rivals Abbeyside and Dungarvan. The All Ireland senior football final, if it’s the reason, should not determine its starting time and the bottom line is that playing hurling under the glare of lights is not the ideal situation. It would be incredible if the lights at the venue failed again like when Abbeyside had Ballygunner on the rack a few years back when in sight of an historic win over the champions.
The reason both sides have not met in years in championship knockout is partly because both were not in the senior grade At the same time. Since Dungarvan rejoined the grade in 2010, the clubs have met on two occasions. In 2014 their group game ended in a draw at 0-17(D) to 1-14(A) (as local derbies often do) and in 2017 the Blues won a first round group tie by 2-19 to 0-8. The fortunes of both clubs changed last year when Abbeyside progressed all the way to the County final and Dungarvan exited at the quarter final stage with a heavy defeat by Passage at Walsh Park. Abbeyside are unbeaten this year and with their full panel back in harness after their Summer travels, they will be the favourites to advance to their second consecutive semi final. The Villagers experience last year should stand to them at the knockout stages but everyone knows that local derbies have a life of their own and this is what makes this game so intriguing.
Dungarvan’s inconsistency has plagued them in recent championships and they will be hoping to raise their game on Sunday to make a real battle of this quarter final. The game could be won and lost not in both attacks but in both defences. There is a litany of scoring forwards on both teams and whichever defence can hold their opponents better could well tell us the outcome of this game. All the talk in the locality this week is geared to this much anticipate local derby with banter galore on both sides of the bridge. This is a game that the locality has been crying out for decades and hopefully the standard of it will live up to its pre match expectations.