Home GAA Five Talking Points Ahead Of The Weekend’s National League Action

Five Talking Points Ahead Of The Weekend’s National League Action

With a weekend schedule dominated by hurling, we take a look at the talking points ahead of what promises to be another cracking round of Allianz National League action.

Davy’s springtime revolution faces its toughest test yet

Davy Fitzgerald has only lost one National Hurling League game as Wexford manager, and that was against Tipperary in last year’s semi-final. Tonight, they head to Thurles to face the same opposition, as the Yellowbellies aim to lay down a marker.

Wexford have gotten off to the perfect start in Division 1A, with two wins, immediately allaying fears of relegation. The fact that they backed up their League form last year in the summer means that these early-season wins shouldn’t be discounted. Not many teams beat Tipp in Thurles, and should they plunder Semple Stadium for two points tonight, it will elevate them to a new level.

All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork 23/7/2017 Wexford vs Waterford Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Basement boys meet in Walsh Park

It may only be the third round of games, but it seems a safe prediction to suggest that the loser of Waterford vs Kilkenny will find themselves in the relegation play-off.

Derek McGrath hasn’t seemed to be all too invested in the League to date, but facing Kilkenny raises the stakes for any team. The Cats are perhaps in greater need of a win here, as media attention on a potential demise intensifies.

Bord na Mona Walsh Cup Final, Nowlan Park, Kilkenny 20/1/2018 Kilkenny vs Wexford Kilkenny Manager Brian Cody in the stands after being sent off   Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Will Antrim build upon promising form?

It has been a positive start to Division 1B for the Antrim hurlers, as Sambo McNaughton and Co. will be encouraged with a points differential of just -4 after losses to Galway and Dublin. However, moral victories don’t put points on the board nor stave off relegation. A win away to Laois certainly would.

They head to O’Moore Park and will be confident of making a big statement. It will also prove as a real indication of where they are at.

Can Pat Gilroy’s Dubs deliver a statement win?

Their shock loss to Offaly in Croke Park was undoubtedly a setback, but the Boys in Blue are building towards bigger and better things. They dug deep for a win in Antrim, but Dublin supporters aspire for higher standards.

2018 form to date points to only one outcome this evening in Limerick, but if the Dubs aim to beat the likes of Wexford and Kilkenny this summer, they may need a big scalp in the League upon which to draw.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B , Croke Park, Dublin 27/1/2018 Dublin vs Offaly Dublin manager Pat Gilroy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Can the Kingdom keep the pace?

Galway and Dublin sit on top of the National Football League Division 1 table, but Kerry could join them should they come out on top in their rescheduled trip to Monaghan tomorrow.

Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s charges picked up wins over Donegal and Mayo in their quest to defend their title.

In many ways, this could be a campaign-defining game for the Farney men, who have one win to date.

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