After convincing wins for Galway and Dublin in Leinster and two enthralling draws in Munster, let’s take a look at this week’s hurling power rankings.
A classy demolition job of a decidedly off-colour Wexford team at the weekend, Galway deservedly takes this week’s top stop on our hurling power rankings.
Three wins from three Leinster Senior Hurling championship games for Michael Donoghue’s men is an early indication that they should be favourites to retain their All-Ireland crown again.
With the likes of Daithi Burke at the back and Joe Canning in the forward line playing some of the best hurling of their careers, they’re the team to beat so far this year.
John Kiely’s men had to rescue a draw at the death against Cork on Saturday, but the manner in which they performed in that game, as well as in their previous victory over Tipperary was very promising.
Limerick have gone from nearly men, to genuine Munster challengers in a short period of time and it finally feels as though the promise of quality that their underage sides showed, is starting to pay dividends.
The Shannonsiders will be without suspended star forward Aaron Gillane for Sunday’s game with Waterford but will still fancy their chances of putting one foot in a Munster final with victory over Derek McGrath’s men.
Finally a victory for Pat Gilroy’s Dubs; albeit against a bottom of the table Offaly side.
Dublin were, however, very convincing in their drubbing of The Faithful County and you get the feeling it could be just the result they need after coming so close against both Kilkenny and Wexford. The win also ensures that they will be playing in the competition again next season.
Performances of halfbacks Shane Barrett and Chris Crummey along with returning forward Conal Keaney were also positives.
A victim of the difficult schedule that the new Championship format incorporates, Wexford looked lethargic as they slumped to defeat at the hands of reigning All-Ireland Champions Galway.
Three games in a row and a fourth against an always difficult Kilkenny side means the task gets no easier for Davy Fitz’ men.
The defeat to Galway aside, Wexford deserve 4th place spot after two impressive wins over Dublin and Offaly in week’s previous. The Wexford faithful will be hoping that Saturday was just a blip.
Two draws in the past two weeks mean, that despite some criticism from certain sections of the GAA world, Cork are one of only three teams left unbeaten in both the Munster and the Leinster championships.
The fact that they let a nine-point, half-time lead slip against Tipperary two weeks ago, and the fact that Limerick were down to 14 men on Saturday mean, although good results on paper, Cork should really be heading into next week’s game on six points.
John Meyler’s men have the benefit of a rest this week, and in Patrick Horgan (Who grabbed 1-10 against Limerick) they possess one of the most in-form forwards in the country.
Conspicuous by their absence this weekend, The Cats had a week to sit back and watch as teams around them did battle.
Beaten by eight points against table toppers Galway already this campaign Kilkenny will be hoping to take advantage of a weary Wexford side when Davy Fitz’ men visit Nowlan Park on Saturday.
Still without a win in their opening three Munster Championship games but they’re showing resilience when they fall behind. The problem is that they kept falling behind.
It took a ghost goal and a heroic effort from Brendan Maher to claw back the 11 point deficit that Waterford had over them.
A victory over Clare this weekend will be crucial.
Another side who didn’t feature last weekend, Clare will go into Sunday’s game with Tipperary looking to take advantage of a side yet to win in this season’s championship.
A victory against last season’s All-Ireland finalists, Waterford in their last game was a huge confidence booster for The Banner and with Munster still tight at the top, they’ll certainly feel that they can take something from Simple Stadium.
Derek McGrath’s men would likely be higher on the list but for THAT goal against Tipperary.
It must be said though, the “ghost goal” aside, The Deise performed poorly in the last 20 minutes of Sunday’s game letting an 11 point lead slip through their fingers in just 16 minutes.
They’ve only taken one point from their first two games and look to be seriously feeling the loss of Darragh Fives and Tadhg De Burca on the defensive end.
Offaly’s relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup was confirmed following their 2-24 to 1-11 defeat to nearest rivals Dublin at the weekend.
This young Offaly side are the only one out of the 10 Munster and Leinster Senior Hurling championship sides who didn’t pick up a point and notched up an abysmal -64 score difference in their 4 games.