# Hurling round-robins: Who needs what to qualify?

## All of the permutations in Leinster and Munster as the round-robins conclude

Kilkenny’s Huw Lawlor with Conor Whelan of Galway during their Leinster Hurling Championship clash last weekend. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

#### Munster

Two things we know for certain in Munster – after four defeats, Waterford are out, while Tipp are guaranteed at least third spot.

Tipp are sitting pretty at the top of the table as the only team on six points (in either round-robin) after three wins in as many games. They’ll will reach the final, unless they lose to Limerick and Cork win against Clare. In that case three teams would be on six points, bringing scoring aggregate into the equation. It would take a worst case scenario of Tipp losing heavily to Limerick and Cork winning big against Clare to see Liam Sheedy’s team drop to third.

If Clare beat Cork in Ennis and Limerick lose, they’ll join the reigning All-Ireland champions and Cork on four points. So there’s a mathematical possibility of reaching a Munster final but their current scoring difference is -30. It would take a 22 point win for them to go ahead of Cork on scoring difference. But, if Limerick beat Tipperary and Clare beat Cork by any amount, the Banner county take third on a head to head. A draw will not be enough to enter the reckoning.

If Limerick lose to Tipperary and Cork beat or draw with Clare then Cork will play Tipp in the final. Lose, and if Tipp beat Limerick, they’ll need scoring difference as referenced above. Or vice versa and they’ll be out.

A win for Limerick and a draw or loss for Cork will put Limerick top and into the final. A win for Limerick and a win for Cork means scoring difference will decide the order of the top three. A loss for Limerick and a win for Cork will keep Limerick in third, and a defeat for Limerick and a win for Clare will mean that second, third and fourth will come down to who scored what.

#### Leinster

Carlow, have already had their season ended by four defeats. Galway are top, on five points. If they beat Dublin then they will definitely be defending their Leinster title in the final. If they draw they will still be in the final. If they lose and there is a winner between Wexford and Kilkenny then they will fall into third. However, if they lose and Kilkenny and Wexford draw they’ll drop to fourth and exit. In that case four teams will be on five points, and any win will bring Dublin’s scoring ahead of Galway’s while both Wexford and Kilkenny’s already is.

If Dublin win against Galway and there’s no draw between Wexford and Kilkenny, the Dubs will edge the Tribesmen on a head-to-head and reach the final. If they win and there is a draw in Wexford Park then they will be in a scoring difference battle with the other three counties. As mentioned above they will automatically end up in third spot, unless, they can win by more than eight points (that’ll move them into second). If they draw themselves, and Kilkenny beat Wexford by more than eight points then they’ll still take third spot. If Wexford won in that situation the Cats would progress in third on a head-to-head.

So, a draw for Wexford and a win for Dublin would put them in a four way scoring difference battle. Wexford will take second unless Dublin win big. A draw with Kilkenny and a Galway win would see Kilkenny finish second and Wexford stay in third, as Kilkenny have a better scoring difference. If Wexford lose and Dublin win then they’re out. If they lose by more than eight and Dublin draw then they’re out. But if they win they are guaranteed a Leinster final.

The same all applies for Kilkenny, although in a four way scoring difference battle they will be top unless Dublin beat Galway by more than 11 points. And if they lose to Wexford, and Dublin draw, they will still progress. The only way their summer will end this weekend is if they lose and Dublin win.

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