Preview: Weekend's Hurling Championship action
Saturday November 21
All Ireland SHC Quarter-Finals
Tipperary v Galway, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 1.15pm
The latest instalment in the Tipperary and Galway story is loaded with relevance.
Three compelling All Ireland SHC semi-finals in 2015, 2016, and 2017 certainly went the distance.
It promises to be equally lively at the LIT Gaelic Grounds with the stakes piled seriously high.
Tipperary were much improved when ultimately overcoming Cork last Saturday.
Cork had assumed a healthy position following a gutsy effort against the wind in the opening period, but Tipperary stayed the distance.
Kiladangan substitutes Paul Flynn and Willie Connors were industrious, with Jason Forde and Jake Morris planting delightful goals.
Michael Breen's electric performance and Ronan Maher's diligence ensured the blue and gold brigade are heartened once again.
Galway motored nicely for a lot of the Leinster decider, but a couple of Kilkenny goals altered the complexion of that match significantly.
Now Shane O'Neill will trust that the Mannions, Joe Canning, and Conor Whelan can summon the class they have exhibited against Tipperary previously.
TIPPERARY: Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Ronan Maher, Alan Flynn; Niall O'Meara, Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher; Noel McGrath, Michael Breen; Dan McCormack, John McGrath, Patrick Maher; Jason Forde, Seamus Callanan, Jake Morris.
GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Aidan Harte, Daithi Burke, Shane Cooney; Fintan Burke, Gearoid McInerney, Joseph Cooney; Padraic Mannion, Johnny Coen; Joe Canning, Cathal Mannion, David Burke; Brian Concannon, Conor Cooney, Conor Whelan.
Waterford v Clare, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 3.45pm
Another intriguing game looms Leeside with Waterford and Clare eager to return to the penultimate stage at Croke Park.
Amazingly since the sizzling All Ireland winning campaign of 2013, Clare have only reached one semi-final.
That ended in a replay loss to Galway which hurt, but Brian Lohan appears to have forged a serious connection with the team featuring a mix of emerging and established players.
The same is certainly true with Liam Cahill and Waterford, who were gritty throughout last Sunday's Munster final.
Tadhg de Burca has been immense in recent weeks, while Stephen Bennett and Dessie Hutchinson are dangerous in attack.
Tony Kelly's blistering Championship displays have yielded 1-45 in three outings simply to underline his class.
Clare will need another powerful contribution from the Ballyea clubman and this battle with Waterford will be tasty.
WATERFORD: Stephen O'Keeffe; Ian Kenny, Conor Prunty, Shane McNulty; Calum Lyons, Tadhg de Burca, Kevin Moran; Jamie Barron, Jake Dillon; Stephen Bennett, Kieran Bennett, Jack Fagan; Dessie Hutchinson, Austin Gleeson, Jack Prendergast.
CLARE: Eibhear Quilligan; Rory Hayes, Conor Cleary, Pat O'Connor; Stephen O'Halloran, Aidan McCarthy, Seadna Morey; Jason McCarthy, Tony Kelly; Cathal Malone, David Reidy, David Fitzgerald; Shane O'Donnell, Colin Guilfoyle, Ryan Taylor.
Joe McDonagh Cup
Meath v Westmeath, Pairc Tailteann, 1pm
It has been a disappointing start to the Joe McDonagh Cup for neighbours Meath and Westmeath.
Both teams have suffered two defeats each so far and that is why they will be anxious to respond at Pairc Tailteann.
Westmeath's record in the Joe McDonagh before 2020 was impressive, but it remains a most highly competitive environment.
MEATH: Mark McCormack; Michael Burke, Shane Brennan, Sean Geraghty; Shane Whitty, Darragh Kelly, Keith Keoghan; Padraic O'Hanrahan, Patrick Conneely; Alan Douglas, Stephen Morris, Jack Regan; Adam Gannon, Cathal McCabe, Jack Walsh.
Kerry v Carlow, Austin Stack Park, 1.30pm
A critical encounter is imminent in Tralee, especially after Kerry's defeat to Antrim.
The Kingdom's margin for error is now slim so Fintan O'Connor will have his team primed for this match.
Colm Bonnar's work with Carlow continues to earn plaudits and they want to earn a return to the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship.
That is why Carlow, still being prompted by Marty Kavanagh, will be fully aware that a victory is necessary.
CARLOW: Brian Tracey; Michael Doyle, Paul Doyle, Gary Bennett; Ger Coady, David English, Richard Coady; Jack Kavanagh, Aaron Amond; Diarmuid Byrne, Jon Nolan, Edward Byrne; Martin Kavanagh, Kevin McDonald, Chris Nolan.