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Ranking the sides in the All-Ireland Hurling Championship

With the provincial championships already decided just six teams remain in the 2020 All-Ireland Hurling Championship.

Laois, Dublin, Cork and Wexford have exited the tournament in a year which has already thrown out some surprise results.

Below we’ll take a look at the teams still in contention for the Liam McCarthy Cup.

6. Clare

The 2013 All-Ireland champions have one of the country’s best hurlers in Tony Kelly, but the Banner county will be hard pressed to make it further in this year’s championship.

Limerick were able to see them off comfortably in the Munster quarter-final before Leinster minnows Laois almost sent them packing in the first round of the qualifiers.

Brian Lohan’s side did improve in a seven-point win against a disappointing Wexford team, but this weekend’s challenge against Waterford should prove to be a step too far.

5. Waterford

The Deise have been the surprise package of 2020 so far, improving massively on last season where they lost all four of their Munster championship encounters.

They did well to beat a spirited Cork side in their first run out, and put up a good fight against back to back Munster champions Limerick in the provincial final.

While they should reach an All-Ireland semi-final, expect them to fall short against either Kilkenny or Limerick again if they do.

4. Galway

The Tribesmen are another side who have improved upon last season after crashing out of the Leinster Championship in 2019.

While the 2017 All-Ireland champions don’t yet look to be back to their best, they’ll know that they could still have a big role to play in this year’s tournament.

Defeating reigning champions Tipperary will be a big ask, but Shane O’Neill will feel that his side will have what it takes to dethrone the Premier county.

3. Kilkenny

Brian Cody’s men seem to win time and time again when it looks as though the game is beyond them.

While this isn’t the vintage Kilkenny team that won 11 All-Ireland’s in 16 years they certainly shouldn’t be counted out.

While they were almost caught on the hop by Dublin in the second-half of their opening game, they showed great character to come from behind to beat Galway to deservedly win the Leinster championship.

2. Tipperary

The reigning champions haven’t found the form that brought them the Liam McCarthy Cup last year however, they are still a dangerous proposition.

They were beaten easily by Limerick in their championship opener, although actually suffered a similar fate in last year’s Munster final.

They will hope they can make a similar turnaround this season, but they will have to do so this weekend if they hope to see off Galway.

1. Limerick

The 2018 All-Ireland champions haven’t put a foot wrong so far this year, dispatching Tipperary in comfortable fashion before withstanding a stern challenge from Waterford.

John Kiely’s men were caught out by Kilkenny in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, something they will be desperate to make amends for.

Their championship triumph two years ago announced the arrival of this young side and it looks as though they’ll be here to stay for years to come.

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