Weekend hurling previews: Throw-in times, TV details and verdicts

The Munster meeting of Clare and last year’s beaten finalists Waterford tops the bill

Tony Kelly has been in stunning form for Clare ahead of Sunday’s Munster quarter-final against Waterford. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tony Kelly has been in stunning form for Clare ahead of Sunday’s Munster quarter-final against Waterford. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Saturday
Leinster SHC quarter-finals

Dublin v Antrim, Páirc Tailteann, 3.0 – Live GAAGo
Dublin’s flatlining fortunes are summed up by a league campaign which saw them win the matches they were expected to and lose the rest. The positive outcomes included this fixture, played in Parnell Park but overall Antrim had a better campaign, going unbeaten in two of the matches that Dublin lost.

Environmental factors for the county include winning the Leinster under-20 this week, counter-balanced by Eamonn Dillon’s season-ending injury. Then again he didn’t play when the teams met in May.

Antrim can improve on that afternoon when their free-taking went haywire – both from Conor Clarke and Neil McManus – and Domhnall Nugent caused trouble at full forward. There is though, a desperation about Dublin’s situation that can pull them over the line but no one in the capital is particularly confident.
Verdict: Dublin

Wexford v Laois, UPMC Nowlan Park, 6.0 – Live GAAGo
It’s been a tough time for Laois as bottom team in Division 1B. Despite manager Séamus Plunkett’s enthusiasm, the team have been undone by injuries to key players and the relentless drum beat of losing all of their matches. They didn’t roll over in Wexford at the start of the season but a late scoring burst inflicted a thrashing. Wexford will expect to be better with Kilkenny awaiting the winners but either way, it looks too steep a task for Laois.
Verdict: Wexford

Sunday
Munster SHC quarter-final

Clare v Waterford, Semple Stadium, 3.30 – Live, RTÉ One
Since they beat Clare in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final, the pendulum has swung a fair bit against Waterford. As of now, they line out on Sunday with the spine of that team ripped out. Goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe retired, full back Conor Prunty joins long-term absentee Tadhg de Búrca on the injured list as does Jamie Barron at centrefield.

Tony Kelly, who injured an ankle before the start of last year’s match in Cork, is back in the usual stunning form, Aidan McCarthy is also playing well and John Conlon’s refit as a centre back has come on considerably.

That’s a sizeable reversal of fortune. Given that Aron Shanagher hacked up under high ball at full forward even when Prunty was playing, finding a new full back is a headache for Liam Cahill. Speculation suggests that Shane Fives might get the nod.

Conor Gleeson is likely to be given the task of limiting the Kelly damage but he has had good experiences – not always to be fair – of being a go-to man marker and will bring energy to the task.

Cahill has done really well to introduce new panellists during the league and in the second half against Tipp, when none of the current injured were playing, they hurled up a storm, slotting in seamlessly to the fast moving game. But at best that still leaves a bench deficit, particularly as regular sub Patrick Curran is also believed to be out.

Any way you spin this, Waterford have taken a lot of setbacks since last year whereas Clare are on a roll, putting the poor start to the league behind them and finishing in form by beating Kilkenny. They’ll have their eyes on this.
Verdict: Clare

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.