Hurling previews: Revived Tipperary target elusive win over All-Ireland champions Limerick

Tipp’s new momentum will be put to the test as they seek first victory over Limerick since 2018


Division 1 semi-final: Limerick v Tipperary, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 7.30pm [Live, TG4] – Liam Cahill again trains his sights on Limerick, this time with his own county after three largely unavailing years trying to get Waterford over the line in this fixture in both league and championship. Of the six matches played, he experienced just one win – during 2021 when Limerick had a bad run in the league. To date he has done very well with Tipp, reviving them after last year’s difficulties and managing to bring in new players while continuing to win matches.

Limerick, though, have been having their most impressive league under John Kiely in ticking much the same boxes as Tipp. They have been in better shape and better form as well as giving a run-out to a number of newer players.

Tipperary have had their own problems with the All-Ireland champions and haven’t beaten them competitively since the 2018 league semi-final – their best result, a draw in 2021. They have had to survive some serious injury problems, but Cahill is moulding an effective side.

Bryan O’Mara has been a great addition at full-back whereas up front they have been scoring goals with Jake Morris and Jason Forde posing threats as has Conor Bowe, who starts on the bench. Séamus Kennedy has been brought up to wing forward – perhaps to stage physical resistance to Limerick’s half-backs.


This will be the stiffest test to date, however, as Limerick have been motoring smoothly, frequently taking off big performers or like this evening, holding multi-All Stars in reserve on the bench.

There is plenty of experience throughout the team, which is sure to give Tipp’s new momentum a searching test. Aaron Gillane is back for his first start and the old firm centrefield of Darragh O’Donovan and Will O’Donoghue back in harness. But there are still starts for Colin Coughlan, Donnchadh Ó Dálaigh as well as the more utilised Cathal O’Neill.

Can Tipp survive all of the obvious pressure points – combating the puck-out and blocking the middle third when Limerick unleash their short passing, fast-moving attacks? Will they tune out for a period as they did against Waterford? If so, they won’t be allowed to regain the initiative.

Tipperary need to get something out of this but not necessarily a victory.

Verdict: Limerick

Division 1 relegation play-off: Westmeath v Laois, FBD Semple Stadium, 2pm [TG4 YouTube] – The final stage of the division’s Russian roulette – one relegation spot in the chamber and two sides left at the table. Laois battled hard up in Belfast to try to avoid this play-off but Antrim were too good. Westmeath have found it hard going in 1A and lack Laois’s experience and form in these situations – the latter having avoided the drop for the past three years of this structure.

Verdict: Laois

Division 2A semi-final: Offaly v Kerry, Glenisk O’Connor Park, 2pm

Division 2B semi-final: Wicklow v Donegal, Aughrim, 1pm

Division 3A semi-final: Armagh v Monaghan, Box-It Athletic Grounds, 2pm

Division 3B semi-final: Leitrim v Longford, Shane McGettigan Park, 2pm


Division 1 semi-final: Kilkenny v Cork, UPMC Nowlan Park, 4pm [Live, TG4] – A re-run of last year’s semi-final, which Cork won. Under Pat Ryan, they have had a good campaign and arrive unbeaten with the additional distinction of having turned over Limerick in the first match after the champions ran the bench arguably a little early. Cork have also been coping with a mesmerising injury list with about two-thirds of the final championship selection last year playing little or no role in the campaign to date.

Kilkenny in the post-Cody era have continued to do what they have invariably done – be competitive and present when the play-offs arrive. Billy Drennan has proved a prolific dead-ball exponent since graduating from the under-20s and they still have players to come back. Cork haven’t won a league in 25 years whereas Kilkenny during that time appeared to have taken a freehold interest in the title. Cork to find a way.

Verdict: Cork

Division 2B relegation play-off: London v Sligo, Carrickmore, 1pm

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times