The meeting of Kilkenny and Wexford will have a big bearing on who qualifies for the All-Ireland series from Leinster.
The meeting of Kilkenny and Wexford will have a big bearing on who qualifies for the All-Ireland series from Leinster. 

Hurling Championship permutations


By John Harrington

There’s a lot to play for in the final round of round-robin fixtures in the Munster and Leinster Senior Hurling championships and Joe McDonagh Cup this weekend.

Clare and Limerick are guaranteed to meet in the Munster SHC Final on June 5 and Galway are assured of at least a place in the All-Ireland series, but everything else is up for grabs.

Cork, Waterford, and Tipperary are all still vying for third spot in Munster and the place in the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Final it guarantees.

While, in Leinster, Galway, Kilkenny, and Dublin can all still secure a place in the Leinster Final. Barring a mathematical miracle, the best Wexford can hope for a third-place finish and progress to the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Finals.

Antrim have already qualified for the Joe McDonagh Cup Final, with Offaly, Kerry, and Carlow vying for the right to play them in it.

The team that finishes third in the Munster SHC will play the Joe McDonagh Cup champions in the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Finals, while the team that finishes third in the Leinster SHC will play the Joe McDonagh Cup runners up in the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Finals. The Joe McDonagh teams will have home venue in both matches.

The current state of play in the Munster SHC. 
The current state of play in the Munster SHC. 

Munster SHC remaining fixtures

Sunday, May 22

Clare v Waterford, Cusack Park, Ennis, 4pm RTE2

Tipperary v Cork, FBD Semple Stadium, 4pm RTE1

Munster SHC permutations

Limerick and Clare: Through to Munster Final

Cork

Cork’s destiny remains in their own hands. If they beat Tipperary they’re through to a preliminary quarter-final against the Joe McDonagh Cup champions. A draw would also suffice if Waterford draw with Clare, as Cork would finish above Waterford on the head to head rule

Waterford

Waterford need to beat Clare on Sunday but even that won’t be enough unless Tipperary do them a favour by drawing with or defeating Cork. Waterford have to better Cork’s result because if both teams win and finish level on four points then Cork will be ranked above Waterford on the head to head rule having beaten them in Walsh Park last weekend.

Tipperary

Even though they’ve lost all three matches they’ve played, Tipperary still have a slight chance of finishing third in Munster if they can beat Cork and Clare beat Waterford. That would leave Tipperary, Cork, and Waterford all on two points each, at which point they would be separated by scoring difference.

Currently Tipperary’s scoring difference is -19, Cork’s is -7, and Waterford’s is -5. So it would require Tipperary beating Cork by seven points and Waterford losing to Clare by eight points to leapfrog both of their rivals and finish in third place.

The current state of play in the Leinster SHC. 
The current state of play in the Leinster SHC. 

Leinster SHC remaining fixtures

Kilkenny v Wexford, UPMC Nowlan Park, 6pm - SKY

Galway v Dublin, Pearse Stadium, 6pm - GAAGO

Laois v Westmeath, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 6pm

Leinster SHC permutations

Galway

If Galway draw with Dublin or defeat them they’ll qualify for the Leinster Final. Even if they lose they’re already assured of a place in the All-Ireland series.

Kilkenny

Kilkenny are guaranteed a place in the Leinster Final if they beat Wexford. A draw with Wexford would also suffice for a Leinster Final spot if Galway draw with or defeat Dublin. If Kilkenny lose to Wexford they can still qualify for the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Final as long as Galway defeat Dublin.

Kilkenny will be eliminated from the Championship if they lose to Wexford and Dublin draw with or defeat Galway.

Dublin

A draw with Galway would be enough to ensure that Dublin at least qualify for a Preliminary All-Ireland Quarter-Final. A draw would even be enough for a place in the Leinster Final were Wexford to beat Kilkenny.

If Dublin lose to Galway they can still qualify for the Preliminary All-Ireland Quarter-Final as long as Kilkenny defeat Wexford.

Wexford

The maths are simple for Wexford – they must beat Kilkenny to clinch a place in the Preliminary All-Ireland Quarter-Final. There’s even a mathematical chance of qualifying for a Leinster Final but that would require Galway beating Dublin and Wexford beating Kilkenny by 15 points.

Westmeath & Laois

The meeting of Westmeath and Laois is more than likely a relegation play-off. A draw is enough to see Westmeath retain their Liam MacCarthy Cup status whereas pointless Laois need a win.

The only scenario that would see the bottom team in Leinster avoid relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup would be if Kerry were to win the Joe McDonagh Cup this year, which is only a slim possibility given the current picture going into the final round of that competition.

Were that scenario to come to pass though, then no team would be relegated from the Leinster Championship. Instead Kerry would play the bottom-placed team in the Munster Championship for a place in the 2023 Munster Hurling Championship.

Ben Conneely of Offaly pictured with the Joe McDonagh Cup. 
Ben Conneely of Offaly pictured with the Joe McDonagh Cup. 

Joe McDonagh Cup remaining fixtures

Antrim v Kerry, Corrigan Park, 1pm

Offaly v Carlow, Bord na Mona O'Connor Park, 1pm

Down v Meath, Ballycran, 1pm

Joe McDonagh Cup permutations

Antrim have already qualified for the Joe McDonagh Cup Final and the All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Finals.

Offaly can clinch second place if they draw with or defeat Carlow on Saturday. But if Carlow win that match and Antrim defeat Kerry, then Carlow will finish second above Offaly on the head-to-head rule.

If Carlow defeat Offaly and Kerry defeat Antrim, then Offaly, Kerry, and Carlow will all finish on six points each and will be separated by scoring difference. Kerry have a big advantage there currently with a scoring difference of +40, with Carlow on +16 and Offaly on +14.

This weekend’s match between second from bottom Down and bottom of the table Meath is effectively a relegation play-off. If Down win or draw, Meath are relegated to the Christy Ring Cup for 2023. If Meath win, Down are relegated.