The top ten hurling teams in the country ranked.
We have compiled our latest version of the hurling power rankings after week four of the league, basing our rankings on facts and recent form.
Let us know your thoughts on our hurling power rankings. You can read week one’s rankings here.
10. Antrim (No change).
Darren Gleeson has done a phenomenal job with Antrim. The most optimistic Saffron fan could not have seen this dramatic improvement coming.
The Ulster side produced a great performance against Wexford and drew the game. Gleeson’s side had previously beaten Clare in round one. They are certainly a county making progress at a rapid rate.
If one had told Darren Gleeson he would have taken Antrim into the top ten within a season and a half of taking the job he would have been delighted. There is scope for further progression as well.
9. Dublin (No change).
Hurling in the capital does not seem to be in a great place. The game is constantly overshadowed by Gaelic football in Dublin.
Any promising dual player is almost certain to play for the footballers. Dublin suffered another disappointing defeat against Clare on Saturday.
Mattie Kenny’s side have failed to win any of their last seven matches against sides ranked ahead of them.
Dublin just don’t seem to be able to take the next step in hurling, in a way that their football counterparts managed to do so well.
8. Wexford (down one).
Wexford did not play badly away to Antrim on Saturday and did well to earn a draw. Matthew O’Hanlon was sent off for Davy Fitzgerald’s side and Rory O’Connor went off with an injury.
Their 2020 Championship campaign was disastrous though and it will be a big challenge for Fitzgerald to revamp the side and help them get back to the 2019 performance levels.
Wexford lost heavily to Kilkenny in round three and will hope to bounce back with a win at home to Dublin on Saturday.
Fitzgerald will not be in charge for that game as the Clare native was handed a two-match ban after he was sent to the stands in the match against Antrim.
7. Clare (up one).
Clare have rediscovered their form after a poor start to the season. Brian Lohan’s side scored 0-34 in an impressive victory over Dublin in round four.
There has been so many negative, off the pitch headlines in the county that could potentially impact on the fortunes of the Clare team though Lohan is a shrewd operator and the Munster side will hope to bring their recent good form into the meeting with Kilkenny in round five.
Lohan will be quietly pleased with his sides upturn in form and Clare will fancy their chances of defeating Waterford in the Munster quarter-final.
6. Cork (down one).
Cork were blown away in the first half against Limerick. Kieran Kingston’s side trailed by 10 points at half-time and the game was over as a contest.
The Rebel county had played well in their opening three league ties. Cork face Limerick again in the Munster championship semi-final and they will hope for a better performance in the rematch.
Liam McCarthy has not resided in Cork since 2005 which is a major famine by their standards and Kingston’s charges meet Galway in the last round of the league.
5. Waterford (down one).
Waterford played okay against Galway but fell to an eight-point defeat. Liam Cahill’s charges can’t be happy with that result as the All-Ireland runners-up had beaten Galway in the 2019 and 2020 league campaigns.
However, the immediate challenge for Waterford is to beat Tipperary in round five of the league and far more importantly, to be ready for the challenge of Clare in the Munster championship quarter-final.
Fifth is probably a fair reflection on Waterford’s standing at the moment, though some fans will be aggrieved to be behind Kilkenny seeing as Cahill’s side defeated their local rivals in the 2020 championship.
4. Kilkenny (up two).
You can never write off Kilkenny. That is one of the most overused sporting cliches but it is very applicable here.
Brian Cody’s charges have won seven of their previous eight matches and have emerged victorious in their four league matches in 2021.
It will be interesting to see how the Leinster champions fare against Clare on Saturday. The 2013 All-Ireland winners are probably the strongest team that Kilkenny will face in the league.
Cody’s side are guaranteed to be top of the table and will play in a league final if they meet the team that tops division 1A, in the Championship.
3. Galway (no change).
Galway scored 4-28 against Waterford in round four and looked excellent. It was a near-perfect performance from Shane O’Neill’s side.
The challenge for Galway this year is to win a Leinster championship. The western side won two provincial championships in 2017 and 2018 but have failed in the past two campaigns.
Galway have some excellent underage talent coming through and Joe Canning looked back to his very best against Waterford.
O’Neill’s charges could potentially reach a league final if they beat Cork and other results go their way and a victory in round five would leave them in a great position ahead of the Leinster semi-final.
2. Tipperary (no change).
Liam Sheedy will be thrilled with the way this league campaign has gone for Tipperary. The 2019 All-Ireland champions are unbeaten in their four ties and will finish top of division 1A if they can win against Waterford on Sunday.
Tipperary are building confidence with every positive result and their talisman Seamus Callanan returned to action against Westmeath.
The Premier county won the 2018 and 2019 All-Ireland u-20 championships so there are definitely players coming through at underage level.
Liam Sheedy is definitely one of the best hurling managers in Ireland currently and is arguably one of the greatest managers of all time. Tipperary fans have a lot to be optimistic about.
1. Limerick (no change).
There were questions asked about Limerick after they failed to win any of their first three league games. Those questions were comprehensively answered as John Kiely’s side blew Cork out of the water on Saturday.
Limerick led by 10 points at half-time and are almost certain to pick up another victory against Westmeath in round five.
The All-Ireland champions are sure to still be at the top of the rankings at the end of the league and the dream for Kiely would be that his charges are still ranked in first place of the hurling power rankings at the end of the championship.