National Hurling League Division 1B county-by-county guide

Derek Lyng facing a difficult assignment as Kilkenny begin life after Brian Cody


Manager: Darren Gleeson (4th season)

2022 record: Finished bottom of Division 1B, but beat Offaly in a relegation playoff to retain their top flight status for 2023. Joe McDonagh Cup winners. Beaten by Cork in an All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Kilkenny, Corrigan Park, 2.0

Antrim lost all three of their Walsh Cup fixtures in January – to Dublin, Westmeath and Galway. They open their league campaign against Kilkenny this weekend, but the reality is Antrim’s most significant game over the coming weeks will be their round four showdown against Laois.



Manager: Derek Lyng (1st year)

2022 record: Finished top of Division 1B, with four wins and one defeat. But were beaten by Cork in a league semi-final. Leinster champions. Lost to Limerick in the All-Ireland final.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Antrim, Corrigan Park, 2.0

Kilkenny folk are still getting used to life after Brian Cody. It remains to be seen how the post-Cody era will shape up in 2023, but Derek Lyng will at least be hoping to start the league with a win over Antrim, before welcoming Tipperary to Nowlan Park next week.


Manager: Liam Cahill (1st year)

2022 record: Finished fourth in Division 1B, with three wins and two defeats. Lost all four of their Munster SHC round-robin fixtures and finished bottom of the table.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Laois, FBD Semple Stadium, 5.0

Liam Cahill has appointed Noel McGrath as his captain for 2023 with Ronan Maher as vice-captain. The new Tipp boss has named a squad that includes youth and experience, including stalwarts Seamus Callanan and Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher. Padraic Maher has joined Cahill’s backroom team.


Manager: Willie Maher (1st year)

2022 record: Finished fifth in Division 1B, their one victory, over Antrim, enough for Laois to remain in Division One. However, they lost all five of their Leinster SHC round-robin games and have been relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup for 2023.

Opening fixture: Saturday v Tipperary, FBD Semple Stadium, 5.0

Maher has a challenge on his hands to keep Laois in Division One, with the round four game against Antrim likely to decide which of those teams finishes bottom of the group and ends up in a relegation playoff. Maher has former Waterford player Dan Shanahan in his management team.


Manager: Davy Fitzgerald (1st year)

2022 record: League champions. Waterford finished second in Division 1B, but beat Wexford at the semi-final stages and ultimately Cork in the final to win the Division One title. Managed just one victory, over Tipperary, from their four Munster SHC games. Finished fourth in the table.

Opening fixture: Sunday v Dublin, Fraher Field, 2.30

Pauric Mahony’s retirement is a blow for Waterford as Davy Fitzgerald is already planning without Shane and Kieran Bennett, who are away for the year. With Walsh Park undergoing development work, Waterford won’t have their usual home ground for all of their scheduled home games this season. They begin their league campaign in Fraher Field in Dungarvan on Sunday against Dublin. This is Fitzgerald’s second crack at the Waterford job.


Manager: Micheál Donoghue (1st year)

2022 record: Finished third in Division 1B, winning three games, losing one and drawing one. Failed to progress to the All-Ireland series, finishing fourth in the Leinster SHC with three wins and two defeats.

Opening fixture: Sunday v Waterford, Fraher Field, 2.30

Micheál Donoghue has said there are 10 players from last year’s panel unavailable to him in 2023 for various reasons. Among those he won’t be able to call upon are Liam Rushe, Chris Crummey and Cian O’Callaghan. But Eoghan O’Donnell, who linked up with the Dublin footballers last summer, has committed to the cause with the hurlers again for the 2023 campaign. After a few seasons of little movement, this is a big season for Dublin.

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times