The group stages of the Allianz Hurling League are finally wrapped up with attention turning to the remaining quarter-final fixtures.
We may be a week behind due to the fixture chaos two weeks ago but the lineup for the Allianz Hurling League semi-finals will be finalised following this weekend’s games.
Wexford are flying high on the back of their win over Kilkenny last weekend. Davy Fitzgerald’s men finished second in the Division 1A table with three wins from five and will be brimming with confidence heading to the west.
Galway have endured a mixed Allianz League campaign, finishing behind Dublin and Waterford in the Division 1B table. Micheál Donoghue has experimented to a great extent over the past number of weeks as they continue to cope without their club players. However, the Tribesmen will be eager to prove themselves following last week’s loss in Waterford.
It’s another mouth-watering clash in the second quarter-final as Clare head to Walsh Park to take on 1B runners-up, Waterford. The Banner county have had an extra week to rest as their final group game against Limerick was the only 1A game to go ahead two weeks ago. They will have been disappointed not to walk away from Ennis with a win and without the presence of John Conlon on the edge of the square, they face a big task heading to such a cauldron.
With other injury concerns as well, Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor have made five changes to their side with Seadna Morey set to make his first start of the year while Cathal Malone, Aidan McCarthy, Gary Cooney and Aron Shanagher all start.
The final Allianz League quarter-final sees Tipperary welcome Dublin to Semple Stadium. The Dubs have endured tough encounters against the Premier County in recent times but will fancy their chances after topping Division 1B ahead of Waterford and Galway. Tipperary, meanwhile, scraped into the knockout stages after a comprehensive victory over Cork last weekend saw them lifted out of bottom place.
Liam Sheedy could be without Jason Forde for Saturday’s clash. The Silvermines man scored 1-13 against the Rebels last Sunday but limped off the field with an injury after 57 minutes. Tipperary are expected to name their team tonight.
As well as the quarter-finals, the Allianz Hurling League relegation playoff will also take place between Kilkenny and Cork on Saturday in Nowlan Park. Having endured respective losses to Wexford and Tipperary last weekend, both teams will be looking to end their campaigns on a winning note. A reminder that the losing team will not be relegated from Division 1 given the changes to the structure of the Allianz Hurling League from 2020 onwards.
TG4 will have plenty of live coverage to enjoy on Saturday beginning at 1pm in Pearse Stadium while they will also be broadcasting the meeting of Waterford and Clare from Walsh Park.
A full list of this weekend’s Allianz Hurling League fixtures can be found below.
Allianz Hurling League Quarter-Final: Galway v Wexford, Pearse Stadium, 1.30pm
Allianz Hurling League Quarter-Final: Waterford v Clare, Walsh Park, 3pm
Allianz Hurling League Quarter-Final: Tipperary v Dublin, Semple Stadium, 4.30pm
Relegation Play-Off: Kilkenny v Cork, Nowlan Park, 2pm.