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Shane Dowling is a key figure for Na Piarsaigh.
Shane Dowling is a key figure for Na Piarsaigh.

Preview: Weekend's Club Hurling action

Saturday October 27

Limerick SHC Final

Doon v Na Piarsaigh, Gaelic Grounds, 7.30pm

What a decade it has been for Na Piarsaigh, who have accumulated four Limerick and Munster titles since 2011.

That is a clear sign of the talent that has been developed at the Caherdavin club, but the All Ireland Final replay defeat against Cuala hurt.

Returning to the Limerick showpiece confirms that Na Piarsaigh are on the glory trail again with two Adrian Breen goals critical at the penultimate stage.

Doon defeated Patrickswell in a thriller by 2-17 to 0-22 as Denis Moloney landed a sweet winning score.

Moloney's intervention means Doon, who have also impressed in the underage ranks recently, will contest their first decider since 2000.

Westmeath SHC Final

Raharney v Clonkill, TEG Cusack Park, 3.30pm

The Westmeath Senior Hurling Championship is a competitive environment and Raharney, winners in 2014 and 2016, are hoping to return to the summit.

Raharney were beaten in last year's decider by Castletown Geoghegan, but Clonkill are a proven outfit at this level winning five crowns since 2007.

In that time Clonkill have also lost three finals so this promises to be an interesting encounter in the midlands involving two well regarded teams.

Prolific Ballygunner forward Pauric Mahony.
Prolific Ballygunner forward Pauric Mahony.

Sunday October 28

AIB Munster Club SHC Quarter-Final

Ballygunner (Waterford) v Midleton (Cork), Walsh Park, 1.30pm

Producing in the Munster Championship is an itch Ballygunner really want to scratch.

Having recently completed a five in a row in Waterford Ballygunner's failure to win a provincial crown in this spell so far is a source of concern.

That is why Ballygunner are intent on showing their class following final defeats in 2015 and 2017.

Though Midleton were beaten in the Cork SHC decider they still bring a good team to Walsh Park.

Luke O'Farrell and Conor Lehane are efficient forwards, but Ballygunner's panel is sprinkled with distinguished performers too.

Pauric Mahony scored 0-14 against Abbeyside in the Waterford showpiece, while Stephen O'Keeffe, Barry Coughlan, Philip Mahony, and Brian O'Sullivan are other notable hurlers.

AIB Ulster Club SHC Semi-Final

Slaughtneil (Derry) v Ballycran (Down), Corrigan Park, 2.30pm

Slaughtneil have set the standard up north claiming titles in 2016 and 2017, but Ballycran carry tradition and belief into this clash.

The Down club have previously won three Ulster crowns, but the last of those was back in 1993.

Though Slaughtneil's footballers were beaten in Derry an accomplished collection of dual players will be striving to deliver for the hurlers.

Antrim SHC Final

Loughgiel Shamrocks v Cushendall, Ballycastle, 3pm

Following two Antrim Final defeats in a row Cushendall will be loaded with intent, but Loughgiel Shamrocks can be a potent outfit.

That was proven at this exact stage two years ago when Loughgiel shaded a lively battle by 1-15 to 1-12.

Indeed Loughgiel also defeated Cushendall in the 2010, 2011, and 2013 finals.

There is significant history, though, as Cushendall overcame Loughgiel in 2005, 2006, and 2008.

So this will be an eight county decider meeting between the two clubs since 2005 proving how consistent Loughgiel and Cushendall have been.

Joe Fortune and Anthony Daly following the drawn Dublin SHC Final last weekend.
Joe Fortune and Anthony Daly following the drawn Dublin SHC Final last weekend.

Dublin SHC Final replay

Ballyboden St Enda's v Kilmacud Crokes, Parnell Park, 3.30pm

The drawn encounter wasn't short on drama or incident and another fascinating fixture awaits.

Kilmacud Crokes led in the closing stages, but they were pegged back by Ballyboden St Enda's, who squandered a late chance to win themselves.

It was that type of frenetic finish and it could be equally entertaining at the Donnycarney venue again.

Inevitably Paul Ryan occupied a significant role for Boden nailing 0-11 including three points from play.

Crokes are also in County Football final action on Bank Holiday Monday so it will be a busy stint for the progressive Stillorgan club.

Kilkenny SHC Final

Bennettsbridge v Ballyhale Shamrocks, Nowlan Park, 3pm

It is remarkable that since Bennettsbridge last won a Kilkenny senior title back in 1971 Ballyhale Shamrocks have been champions on 15 occasions.

The first of those triumphs was registered in 1978 and since then Ballyhale have been seriously competitive and consistent.

That journey has been helped by some of the most accomplished Kilkenny hurlers of all time and one of those, Henry Shefflin, is the current manager.

Another TJ Reid remains an influential figure in an attack that also features Colin Fennelly.

Bennettsbridge's return as a force is most welcome, especially considering they lost Kilkenny Junior Finals in 2012 and 2013.

A gifted crop, though, has emerged and the Bridge are competing strongly for top honours once more.

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