We’ve previewed all 15 hurling games this weekend and given our verdict.
This weekend promises to be a great one for hurling supporters, with a feast of action in store. We’ve put together a preview and looked at each game individually, with Galway vs Limerick standing out as the game of the weekend.
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
Tipperary vs Cork, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 7:30 pm (Johnny Murphy, Limerick), RTE/Eir Sport
This should be a very good encounter, as both teams put in good performances last week. Tipperary will be disappointed not to have saw out the game against Limerick when they held a five-point lead midway through the second half. They did perform very well though.
Cork are one of the most frustrating, inconsistent teams in Ireland, but they can play some beautiful hurling on their day. They were superb against Waterford last week and their free-scoring forwards could see them over the line tomorrow.
Both Dublin and Laois are hoping to bounce back from last week’s losses.
Laois vs Dublin, MW Hire O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 5 pm (Paud O’Dwyer, Carlow), GAAGO
Laois were very poor against Wexford last week, while Dublin also flattered to deceive against Kilkenny. Dublin comfortably defeated Laois in last season’s league and championship and they should win again tomorrow.
Wicklow vs Meath, Joule Park, Aughrim, 3 pm (Thomas Gleeson, Dublin) – Wicklow GAA are streaming – details to be confirmed
Both sides are in a relegation scrap, after losing their opening games last weekend. Meath are probably slightly further down the line in their development and that might see them edge it.
Christy Ring hurling champions to open their season on Saturday.
Kildare vs Donegal, St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, 1 pm (Chris Mooney, Dublin).
2020 Christy Ring Cup champions Kildare should start their new campaign with a win.
Roscommon vs Mayo, Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon, 2 pm (Rory Mc Gann, Clare).
Mayo had a great win against Derry last week, while Roscommon suffered a disappointing defeat against Donegal. Mayo have a great opportunity to take control of the group.
Waterford vs Westmeath, Walsh Park, Waterford, 1:30 pm (Cathal McAllister, Cork), GAAGO
Both sides suffered disappointing defeats last week. Westmeath are very much up against it in this division and could ship a few more heavy beatings. This could be an ideal opportunity for Liam Cahill’s charges to pick up their first win of the season.
Limerick are unbeaten in 11 hurling games ahead of this weekend.
Galway vs Limerick, Pearse Stadium, Galway, 3:45 pm (James Owens, Wexford), TG4
A repeat of the 2018 All-Ireland final and last year’s semi-final, this could be the best game of the weekend. Limerick have had Galway’s number lately, defeating them in league and championship last year.
Limerick rescued a draw against Tipperary, having chosen to rest a few players. Galway looked scintillating against Westmeath, but Limerick will be a step up in class. Limerick to shade it.
Gearoid Hegarty, Peter Casey and Cian Lynch really improved John Kiely’s side when they were introduced last week. It will be very interesting to see what team they put out for Sunday.
Clare vs Wexford, Cusack Park, Ennis, 12:45 pm (Fergal Horgan, Tipperary), GAAGO
Clare shipped a lot of flack for losing to Antrim last week, but Antrim are a very good side and Corrigan Park is a very tricky place to go.
Clare have some superb hurlers and they comfortably defeated Wexford in last year’s Championship, while also turning them over in the league. Clare may well answer their critics and win this encounter.
Antrim hoping to create more history in Nowlan Park.
Kilkenny vs Antrim, UPMC Nowlan Park, 1:30 pm (Sean Stack, Dublin), GAAGO
Antrim are on a high after one of their best results in recent history against Clare last week. They’ll want to show the public that it was no fluke. TJ Reid is a notable absentee for Kilkenny.
Kilkenny should win but Antrim will definitely be competitive and may run them close.
Down vs Carlow, Ballycran, 1 pm, (Colum Cunning, Antrim).
Down are a hurling team on the up. Ronan Sheehan’s charges won promotion last year and played well for large parts against Kerry last weekend. Carlow have been a level ahead of them though for the recent past and they should do enough again on Sunday.
Offaly vs Kerry, O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 2 pm (Nathan Wall, Cork).
This will be a very close game of hurling, which may be a promotion decider. Both sides played great games last weekend. Kerry beat Offaly in the 2019 Joe McDonagh Cup and in the 2020 league. They are missing a few players through injury and talisman Shane Conway is a doubt.
If Conway is fit and plays, Kerry should win.
Armagh vs Longford, Athletic Grounds, Armagh, 1 pm, (James Clarke, Cavan) – Linwoods ArmaghTV
Local Ulster hurling derbies to preview this weekend.
Tyrone vs Monaghan, Healy Park, Omagh, 2 pm (Shane Guinan, Offaly).
Cavan vs Fermanagh, Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan, 2pm (Caymon Flynn, Westmeath) – https://vimeo.com/event/981851
Leitrim vs Louth, Avant Money Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada, Carrick on Shannon, 2 pm (Brian Keon, Galway).