Hurling Championship previews, throw-in times and TV details

All you need to know ahead of this weekend’s Leinster and Munster Championship action

Leinster SHC

Dublin v Kilkenny, Parnell Park, 6pm [GAAGo] – For all the contrasting trajectories coming into this, the fact is that Dublin have a terrible record against Kilkenny even at their home venue, to the point where the team preferred playing at Croke Park. Apart from the first round robin six years ago, when they were unlucky to lose, Dublin have struggled in this fixture. Kilkenny are robust enough. The close confines and the size of the field gives the likes of TJ Reid scope to score from all over the place. Micheál Donoghue’s team have impressed so far, getting points when they maybe didn’t deserve them, as against Wexford but also swinging the axe last week on Antrim. If Kilkenny can smarten up their shooting – last week’s stunning failure to beat Carlow came with nearly 20 wides – which they probably will with the return of All Star forward, Eoin Cody, they can get back on track. Verdict: Kilkenny

Antrim v Galway, Corrigan Park, 2pm – This has been a scary campaign for Galway to date, taking the heat of Carlow’s first blast before running out 11-point winners, an outcome that looks better now, followed by failing to keep the pressure on Kilkenny and ending up lucky to draw. Most recently came a one-dimensional effort against 14-man Galway. They start well and appear to tail off, lacking conviction. They should be winning this but Antrim are a different proposition at home and James McNaughton has been troubling most opponents. If it’s any way tight down the stretch, watch out. Verdict: Galway

Leinster SHC

Carlow v Wexford, Netwatch Cullen Park, 3pm – After last week’s heroics, Carlow are again at home this time against neighbours Wexford, who have been developing a generous trait against the more developmental teams in Leinster. Marty Kavanagh’s marksmanship pegged back Kilkenny but there was also good scoring from Chris Nolan – in other words if Wexford give one of their stuttering performances, they could be in trouble. But it’s a big challenge for Carlow to replicate that display a week later. If the energy and fight Wexford showed against Galway is to be the norm, they can move on. Verdict: Wexford

Munster SHC

Tipperary v Cork, FBD Semple Stadium, 4pm [RTÉ 2] – The championship has effectively gone into a sudden death with defeat here likely to spell the end of the road for either side. That’s how quickly Cork have to get over their volcanic display in taking down Limerick last weekend. Tipperary have the advantage of a two-week gap since their own late smash-and-grab in Walsh Park. There isn’t enough on paper between the teams for Cork to make assumptions but it is hard to weigh up the most recent displays and find a Tipp advantage. The free-wheeling style that took Tipperary to the brink of a Munster final a year ago hasn’t been in evidence. They managed 0-18 against Limerick; Cork scored 3-28. With seven goals in three matches, Pat Ryan’s team are clearly outgunning a Tipp side with one in two outings. In terms of Munster championship, it’s actually one goal in four matches for all that they fired five past Clare on last season’s opening day. If they can make survival the last day their starting point, the home side may be able to compete but Cork’s pace and hungry forwards are in contrast to Tipp’s struggling attack, which needs further almost exponential improvement. Cork’s big challenge is bringing everything back to earth so that Declan Dalton and Séamus Harnedy can work up the same appetite for combat. Verdict: Cork


Clare v Waterford, Cusack Park, 2pm [RTÉ 2] – Another match with stark implications. Waterford need another point to be sure about progressing, which is what they thought they had in injury-time against Tipp. They are the only unbeaten team left in Munster and have an array of good players, making last year’s non-performances all the more inexplicable – All Stars scattered throughout from defence to full forward. Clare’s uncomplicated style of play won’t be easily countered. They can match the visitors for strength and movement and are well capable of putting up a big score. They must still be groaning at letting Limerick off the hook but have also been good at managing these opponents. Shane O’Donnell is in radiant form and can pressurise the Waterford defence, short full-back Conor Prunty. There won’t be much in it. Verdict: Clare

* In advance of this Sunday’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship Games, Munster GAA and An Garda Síochána wishes to remind supporters of the dangers of igniting flares and smoke bombs within grounds.

These items are illegal and present a serious safety risk to supporters. Any person caught in possession will be refused admission to the ground by stewards and security staff. It is a criminal offence to ignite a flare in a crowded area and anyone who does so will be subject to ejection from the venue and may face criminal prosecution by An Garda Síochána.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times