Preview: Allianz Hurling League
Saturday March 16
Allianz Hurling League Quarter-Finals
Galway v Wexford, Pearse Stadium, 1.30pm
Three victories in four games ensure Wexford will hit the west encouraged.
Davy Fitzgerald has afforded several emerging players opportunities to shine and the fact that six points were accumulated in Division 1A brings satisfaction.
The manner of last week's victory over Kilkenny added to the feel good factor with Lee Chin's prominent showing another source of optimism.
Due to injuries and club commitments Micheal Donoghue has experimented throughout the campaign, but will be interested to see how the younger members involved fare against Wexford in this knockout encounter.
GALWAY: Fergal Flannery; Jack Grealish, Paul Killeen, Aidan Harte; Darren Morrissey, Padraig Mannion, Gearoid McInerney; Cathal Mannion, Sean Loftus; Niall Burke, Joe Canning, Sean Bleahene; Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon, Thomas Monaghan.
Waterford v Clare, Walsh Park, 3pm
Clare return to Walsh Park in May for the start of the Munster Championship so this match carries significance.
Waterford finished strongly to defeat Galway which was important following a disappointing loss against Dublin.
The form of the Bennett brothers is extremely positive, while the Ballygunner players are returning to action also.
Clare's League has been mixed, but the fact that they secured all five points at home ensures they will want to earn a result away from fortress Cusack Park.
Shane Golden and Diarmuid Ryan have contributed handsomely so far in 2019 which will please Donal Moloney and Gerry O'Connor.
WATERFORD: Stephen O'Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Philip Mahony, Noel Connors; Callum Lyons, Kevin Moran, Austin Gleeson; Jamie Barron, Colm Roche; Jack Prendergast, Mikey Kearney, Pauric Mahony; Tommy Ryan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett.
CLARE: Donal Tuohy; Seadna Morey, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Patrick O’Connor, Conor Cleary, Cathal Malone; Shane Golden, Colm Gavin; Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, Aidan McCarthy; Gary Cooney, Aron Shanagher, Podge Collins
Tipperary v Dublin, Semple Stadium, 4.30pm
Following a stint in Alicante Tipperary returned to splendid form against Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn.
Jason Forde struck 1-13 before retiring injured, while Michael Breen mined six points from play. Encouraging signs were certainly available, but Dublin should relish this Thurles test.
While Dublin struggled in the west when being beaten by Galway there was plenty to admire in how Mattie Kenny's charges hurled when Waterford visited Parnell Park.
Danny Sutcliffe is recapturing the dash displayed previously as Kenny stitches a decent team together.
TIPPERARY: Paul Maher; Cathal Barrett, James Barry, Ronan Maher; Joe O'Dwyer, Padraic Maher, Robert Byrne; Noel McGrath, Michael Breen; Jake Morris, Niall O'Meara, Jason Forde; John O'Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, John McGrath.
DUBLIN: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O'Donnell, Daire Gray; Chris Crummey, Sean Moran, Darragh O'Connell; Rian McBride, Sean Treacy; Jake Malone, John Hetherton, Danny Sutcliffe; Oisin O'Rorke, Liam Rushe, Eamonn Dillon.
Allianz Hurling League relegation play/off
Kilkenny v Cork, Nowlan Park, 2pm
While the stakes aren't piled too high Kilkenny and Cork continue their Championship preparations.
Having suffered harrowing defeats to Wexford and Tipperary last Sunday, both counties will be intent on summoning a quick response.
Brian Cody and John Meyler have tried to develop their respective panels throughout the spring and that approach is likely to continue at Nowlan Park on Saturday afternoon.
KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy; Michael Cody, Paddy Deegan, Ciaran Wallace; Enda Morrissey, Conor O'Shea, Tommy Walsh; James Maher, Conor Browne; Pat Lyng, Alan Murphy, Richie Leahy; Billy Ryan, Richie Hogan, Niall Brassil.
CORK: Anthony Nash; Sean O'Donoghue, Damien Cahalane, Darren Browne; Robert Downey, Tim O'Mahony, Mark Coleman; Ger Millerick, Bill Cooper; Daniel Kearney, Robbie O'Flynn, Luke Meade; Conor Lehane, Aidan Walsh, Shane Kingston.