Waterford and Kilkenny secure places in last eight

League quarter-finals take shape, as Dublin and Clare end up in relegation play-off

The annual exchange fluctuations at the end of the hurling league took place on Sunday, leaving Waterford and Kilkenny going up, as both reached next weekend's quarter-finals, but Cork will also be pleased with the narrow win over All-Ireland champions Tipperary, who lost for the first time in nearly a year. The sides face each other in the Munster championship in nine weeks' time.

The losers are Clare and Dublin, who must now contest this year's relegation play-off. They lost on Sunday to Waterford and Kilkenny respectively.

In Cusack Park, Ennis, a crowd of 6,640, got a preview of summer in warm sunshine as well as a belter of a match, decided by Waterford's strong finish and particularly a 64th-minute goal by replacement Tom Devine, which tipped the match in the visitors' favour.

“It will change the buzz around Waterford,” said victorious manager Derek McGrath. “If you’re facing into a relegation playoff, it’s very difficult scenario in your own town for the lads. We were espousing the whole idea that it doesn’t really matter, but it makes it easier.”


His team, who won the league two years ago and lost last year’s final after a replay, will play Galway in the quarter-final.

Kilkenny had a comfortable win over Dublin in Parnell Park. The home side weren't helped by goalkeeper Gary Maguire getting the line late in the first half and now must ready themselves for the rematch with Clare, who beat them a fortnight ago when the counties met in the division.

Response to adversity

For Kilkenny it was a gratifying response to the adversity of losing the first two matches of the season and they now face Division One B winners


in the quarter-finals in what could be a rehearsal for a potential



"We have come a long way since we went down badly against Clare in our second game," said manager, Brian Cody. "I said after that bad defeat we wanted to make the quarter-finals, so it is job done, although we were made fight all the way for this win."

Dublin and Clare will be renewing rivalry, having earlier this month played in the league; and on St Patrick’s Day their respective county champions contested the All-Ireland club final, which was won by Cuala against Ballyea for the capital’s first success in the competition.

Manager Ger Cunningham said he hoped to have the Cuala players back for the playoff.

In Páirc Uí Rinn, it was a case of "the daylight saved and Tipp bet" as the clocks went forward and Patrick Horgan stepped up in the 74th minute to edge the home team to a one-point 0-26 to 3-16 win and up to second in the table.

Cork will play Limerick and Tipperary are to face Offaly in the quarter-finals.


Weekend 1st/2nd April


Tipperary v Offaly

Cork v Limerick

Waterford v Galway

Kilkenny v Wexford (Kilkenny venue)

Relegation playoff

Clare v Dublin

Semi-final draw: A v D and B v C.

[Full fixture details, including venues, to be announced on Monday by the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee ]