Preview: Weekend's Munster and Leinster SHC action
Munster Senior Hurling Championship
Saturday April 23
Limerick v Waterford, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 7pm
Sunday April 24
Tipperary v Clare
At Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday Limerick provided another reminder of the class and character in John Kiely's panel.
Now a Saturday evening encounter against an emerging Waterford outfit will be monitored with interest.
The manner in which Waterford captured the Allianz Hurling League title suggested Liam Cahill's team are well placed to seriously compete for provincial and national honours.
Despite a defiant Tipperary display, Waterford, boosted by the introductions of Austin Gleeson and Jamie Barron, did enough to overcome the passionate Premier challenge.
Waterford, with Stephen Bennett prolific in attack and Mikey Kiely carrying a goal threat, will relish the opportunity for a test against the standard bearers.
Even though Cork planted a goal in the first minute, Limerick summoned a response with trademark grit and guile.
Aaron Gillane was sharp inside, Kyle Hayes, who misses out against Waterford, caused bother, while Cian Lynch decorated another fine display with some memorable moments.
At Semple Stadium on Sunday - even at this early stage of the campaign - the stakes are piled high for Tipperary and Clare.
In Walsh Park Mark Kehoe and substitute Dan McCormack were key contributors for Tipperary, who require a positive result against Clare.
The Banner, though, are a resilient and resourceful team under Brian Lohan and they will believe that a top three finish in Munster can be secured.
Shane O'Donnell's availability is a real boost with the brilliance of Tony Kelly still meaning Clare enter the 2022 Munster Championship quietly optimistic.
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
Saturday April 23
Wexford v Dublin, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 5pm
Kilkenny v Laois, UPMC Nowlan Park, 5.30pm
Galway v Westmeath, Pearse Stadium, 6pm
It concluded with a Wexford flourish that was sufficient to earn a division of the Leinster Championship spoils against Galway.
Conor McDonald's goal and Lee Chin's frees ensured Wexford's rally was rewarded, but another demanding home assignment awaits for Darragh Egan's team.
Galway squandered gilt edged scoring chances throughout the match which is a worry for Wexford, but the determination demonstrated augurs well.
Dublin shrugged off Laois' spirited resistance at Parnell Park with Donal Burke rifling over 0-13 for Mattie Kenny's charges.
Substitute Alex Considine enjoyed a good cameo scoring a goal, while Fergal Whitely impressed too.
Laois goalkeeper Enda Rowland remains an influential figure, while PJ Scully struck eight points during the Dublin defeat for Laois, who have Kilkenny next on the agenda.
Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett will be heartened by Laois' passion, but Kilkenny at UPMC Nowlan Park is another tough match.
TJ Reid was introduced at half-time in Kilkenny's victory over Westmeath with the Ballyhale Shamrocks attacker clipping 1-4, while also fashioning opportunities for others too.
Walter Walsh and Pádraig Walsh provided plenty of leadership too for Kilkenny, who will want to add two more points to the account before a trip to Salthill.
Pearse Stadium provides the backdrop for Galway's meeting against Westmeath on Saturday evening.
Killian Doyle was immense for Westmeath against Kilkenny in Mullingar and Joe Fortune's charges will hope to be similarly industrious.
Henry Shefflin's first Championship match in charge of the maroon and white culminated in a draw against Wexford.
Tom Monaghan's contribution was noteworthy for Galway, but an injury suffered by Conor Whelan is a worry.