Prolific Cork forward Patrick Horgan.
Prolific Cork forward Patrick Horgan.

Preview: Weekend's Allianz Hurling League action

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A

Sunday March 20

Galway v Clare, Pearse Stadium, 1.45pm

Limerick v Offaly, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 1.45pm

Wexford v Cork, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 1.45pm

Wexford and Cork's efficiency means the top two spots have already been decided.

At Chadwicks Wexford Park the only issue needing to be sorted is who emerges as group winner.

It has been an encouraging stint for both counties, who have impressed in the league so far.

Kieran Kingston's team have scored well so far with a nice blend of emerging and established players featuring.

Darragh Egan is quietly integrating promising talent too with Oisín Pepper enjoying some splendid moments so far.

At the TUS Gaelic Grounds All Ireland champions Limerick and Offaly will be battling to avoid a relegation play-off.

Limerick divided the spoils with Clare at Cusack Park at the end of a hard fought match.

After three losses in a row John Kiely's team will now want to prepare for the Munster Championship next month by defeating Offaly.

It has been a demanding campaign for Offaly, who have endured some heavy defeats.

Ahead of the Joe McDonagh Cup, Michael Fennelly's Offaly have spent company and learning time alongside some of the most accomplished outfits.

At Pearse Stadium the stakes aren't piled too high for Galway and Clare, but Henry Shefflin and Brian Lohan will want to carry out some experiments ahead of the Championship.

Waterford manager Liam Cahill.
Waterford manager Liam Cahill.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B

Sunday March 20

Kilkenny v Waterford, UPMC Nowlan Park, 1.45pm

Laois v Dublin, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 1.45pm

Tipperary v Antrim, FBD Semple Stadium, 1.45pm

UPMC Nowlan Park provides the backdrop for what promises to be an intriguing encounter between neighbours Kilkenny and Waterford.

The manner of Kilkenny's victory over Dublin at Parnell Park suggests Brian Cody's team are motoring in the right direction.

For Waterford, though, it has been a heartening campaign with Liam Cahill's charges continuing to develop.

Three wins and a draw have been registered illustrating the depth in the Waterford panel.

Cha Dwyer's excellent contribution earned Laois victory against Antrim and now they will want to produce a similarly defiant display when Dublin visit Portlaoise.

Dublin know all about the passion Laois can summon at MW Hire O'Moore Park as the 2019 All Ireland preliminary quarter final defeat proved.

Before the Kilkenny setback Mattie Kenny's side had been impressing and they are aware a victory might be enough to earn a place in the knockout stages.

At FBD Semple Stadium former Tipperary goalkeeper Darren Gleeson brings Antrim to Thurles to play his native county.

Despite a number of brave performances, Antrim will face a relegation play-off shortly.

Tipperary were soundly beaten by Waterford which is a worry with Colm Bonnar's team set to return to Walsh Park next month for a crucial Munster Championship fixture.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A

Saturday March 19

Down v Kerry, Ballycran, 2pm

Sunday March 20

Kildare v Westmeath, St Conleth's Park, 12.30pm

Meath v Carlow, Páirc Tailteann, 12.30pm