As we approach the business end of the national football and hurling leagues, there was a full slate of small ball action over the last few days.
With a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final top of the bill on Saturday night, here are our top talking points from the last few days.
5. Tipp And Kilkenny Play Out Another Classic
TJ Reid was the standout performer as Kilkenny went to Thurles and claimed a share of the spoils. Reid’s hat-trick, including two from penalties, ensured that, after going eight points down early on, the Cats bit back.
For Tipp, this may come as a blessing in disguise, as it will, for the time being at least, slow down comparisons between the Premier hurlers and the Dublin footballers. This clash set up a potential rematch later on in the year quite nicely.
4.Clare Finish Strong To Beat Dublin
After a competitive game in Ennis, Clare finished strongly to secure a 0-21 to 1-18 win over the Dubs. After fading somewhat last week late on in Thurles, the manner of victory will thrill the Clare management.
For Dublin, well, they continue to be somewhat of an enigma, it is hard to tell where they are at as championship approaches.
3. Kerry Have Good First Half, Get Well Beaten (Again)
After a few heavy defeats, many feared the worst for Kerry as they played a free-scoring Galway side. However, at the short whistle, they trailed by just three – 1-7 to 0-7.
However, like the Wexford game, Kerry did little in the second period and were defeated convincingly 1-22 to 0-12. Kerry will be encouraged with their performances, but if they continue to fade in second halves, they will struggle in the Leinster qualifiers next month.
2. Limerick Put Up Half Century
After Galway put up 40 against Laois, Limerick hit 51 against the Leinster side, who are having a torrid time of it at the moment. To say Limerick were dominant would be an understatement, as a side full of youngsters and fringe players looking to make an impression hit 6-33 against the Midlands side.
With an effort like that, you have to wonder would relegation really be a bad thing for Laois?
1. Wexford Promoted
This is the least surprising thing to happen this week but still an important milestone for Davy Fitzgerald. A 1-17 to 0-15 win over Offaly got Wexford to eight points meaning that only one of Limerick or Galway can match that total (they are both on six but play each other next time out) so head-to-head records mean they cannot be topped.
Conor McDonald got the goal as Wexford secured their spot at the top table for 2018.
Joel Slattery, Pundit Arena