Preview: Allianz Hurling League Semi-Finals
Allianz Hurling League Semi-Finals
Sunday March 24
Dublin v Limerick, Nowlan Park, 1.30pm
Dublin stayed cool under pressure late on in Thurles to secure another high quality match.
That victory over Tipperary supplied a drop of confidence for Mattie Kenny's team, who will benefit from this trip to Nowlan Park.
After the Tipperary triumph Kenny spoke about the importance of remaining calm in the closing minutes, that is precisely what Dublin did to take a good scalp.
In the Leinster Championship last year Dublin's three defeats all arrived following late flurries from their opponents.
Kenny's panel is flecked with class with Eoghan O'Donnell and Sean Moran providing solid defensive cover, while further up the pitch Eamonn Dillon's goalscoring instincts and Danny Sutcliffe's ability carry a threat.
Limerick's craft and depth is well documented so John Kiely will be satisfied with how the spring has unfolded.
Having claimed the All Ireland title in such dramatic fashion Limerick are intent on remaining as a serious force in the game.
Kiely has used his panel wisely throughout the League, but they will want to display their talent on the same Nowlan Park stage where they defeated Kilkenny in such convincing fashion last month.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Sean Finn, Richie English; Diarmuid Byrnes, Dan Morrissey, Paddy O'Loughlin; Cian Lynch, Darragh O'Donovan; Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Peter Casey, Graeme Mulcahy.
Galway v Waterford, Nowlan Park, 3.30pm
A fortnight ago Shane Bennett's late goal ensured Waterford summoned a gutsy response to beat Galway at Walsh Park.
In difficult conditions Waterford came thundering back to defeat Galway and followed that up with a fine win over Clare at the quarter-final stage.
Many positives could be taken from the Clare success by Pauric Fanning as Waterford registered a healthy 0-31 total.
Stephen Bennett has been prolific so far in 2019, while the splendid accuracy of Pauric Mahony and Austin Gleeson was also evident against Clare.
Now Waterford will be anxious to advance to the decider, but Galway impressed when fending off Wexford's challenge in Salthill.
With Joe Canning providing the inspiration Galway recovered following the concession of three soft first half goals.
Wexford's direct policy had Galway in some bother, but once Gearoid McInerney went into the maroon full back line the maroon team settled.
Cathal Mannion and Brian Concannon demonstrated their skill as Galway concluded the match strongly.
Micheal Donoghue will hope that Galway can be similarly effective and energetic from the outset in Nowlan Park.
GALWAY: Fergal Flannery; Paul Killeen, Ronan Burke, Darren Morrissey; Aidan Harte, Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney; Cathal Mannion, Johnny Coen; Niall Burke, Joe Canning, Kevin Hussey; Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon, Davy Glennon.
WATERFORD: Stephen O'Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Calum Lyons, Noel Connors; Philip Mahony, Tadhg de Burca, Kevin Moran; Jamie Barron, Austin Gleeson; Colin Dunford, Mikey Kearney, Pauric Mahony; Tommy Ryan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett.