Preview: Weekend’s Allianz Hurling League action:

Allianz Hurling League Division One Semi-Finals

Saturday 23rd March
Limerick v Kilkenny in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 4.30pm, TG4

Two All-Ireland and one League Final defeat to Limerick since 2022 ensures Kilkenny will be particuarly eager to make an impact on Saturday afternoon.

Limerick, though, have nicely mixed emerging and established players throughout the current campaign.

Despite the wretched weather and being down to 14 men, Limerick still summoned a defiant display to divide the spoils with Galway in Salthill last Saturday.

Diarmaid Byrnes’ long range shooting was a key factor, but the determination demonstrated will have pleased John Kiely.

With plenty of options available there is no shortage of depth in the Limerick panel with players such as Adam English and Donnacha Ó Daláigh enjoying productive moments in the league.

Boosted by the recent return of TJ Reid, Kilkenny will trust that Adrian Mullen and Eoin Cody can cause Limerick problems.

Sunday 24th March
Clare v Tipperary in Laois Hire O’Moore Park at 4pm, TG4

These two counties have enjoyed encouraging league campaigns so far.

That Clare and Tipperary have dealt with the unavailability of key performers provides another source of optimism.

Even against Offaly last weekend, Clare eked out a win with an experimental line up, underlining the increasing depth of Brian Lohan’s panel.

That is what Liam Cahill wants to achieve with Tipperary too with Gearoid O’Connor a prominent figure in attack.

At the opposite end of the field Ronan Maher continues to supply direction and leadership.

Clare, though, are moving along smartly with Diarmuid Ryan and David Fitzgerald influential figures.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A Semi-Final

Saturday 23rd March
Laois v Down in Laois Hire O’Moore Park at 3.30pm

Unsurprisingly, Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League was extremely hard fought.

Carlow edged into the decider, but Laois and Down will both feel that a place in the decider can be attained.

Jer Quinlan’s 1-3 contribution was a significant factor when Laois overcame Down 2-18 to 0-17 last month.

Down were gritty throughout that encounter, though, with Pearse Óg McCrickard and Tim Prenter prominent for Ronan Sheehan’s developing team.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B Semi-Final

Saturday 23rd March
Donegal v Tyrone in O’Donnell Park at 1pm

Derry set the standard in Division 2B, but Donegal and Tyrone are set for another lively battle.

Donegal won three and drew one of their five group matches, but are expected to be without some key players for this weekend’s tussle.

Aidy Kelly rifled over 0-10 for Tyrone when they drew with Donegal, 1-17 to 0-20, in February.

Former Tyrone star Gerard Gilmore clipped nine points for Donegal in the same game.

Allianz Hurling League Division 3A Semi-Final

Saturday 23rd March
Sligo v Cavan in Markievicz Park at 2pm

This promises to be an interesting game at Markievicz Park.

Cavan have been one of the success stories of the 2024 Allianz Hurling League, winning three matches following promotion to Division 3A.

One of Cavan’s losses occurred in a thrilling against Sligo, 4-19 to 3-18.

Sligo led by 15 points at the interval before Cavan launched a daring comeback mission. The home team survived, but Sligo will be fully aware of the threat an improving Cavan outfit pose.

Allianz Hurling League Division 3B Semi-Final

Saturday 23rd March

Longford v Warwickshire in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park at 2.30pm

Fermanagh embarked on a four match winning streak with Longford and Warwickshire earning second and third place in the group.

Last month Longford overcame Warwickshire 2-21 to 1-15 at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.