Preview: Weekend’s Allianz Hurling League action:

Allianz Hurling League Division One Group A

Sunday 25th February

Kilkenny v Offaly, UPMC Nowlan Park, 1.45pm
Wexford v Clare, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 1.45pm, TG4 App
Cork v Waterford, Supervalu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 3.45pm, TG4

With counties eager to secure a place in the top tier of the Allianz League for 2025, this weekend’s matches carry importance.

Victories over Cork and Waterford ensure that Clare occupy a healthy position, but Wexford will be primed for Sunday’s encounter.

Keith Rossiter’s charges have drawn with Kilkenny and Offaly, so a Lee Chin inspired Wexford will be striving to produce a positive performance on home turf.

Increasing the depth of the panel for the summer challenges ahead is one of Brian Lohan’s objectives, but Clare will also be satisfied with a promising start.

At Supervalu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Cork will want to open their account against Waterford.

A new look Deise panel, featuring a number of emerging players, were beaten by Clare, but Davy Fitzgerald will be encouraged by the performance levels.

Narrow losses to Clare and Kilkenny hurt Cork, but Pat Ryan will be hopeful that his team can generate momentum ahead of the Munster Championship.

Conor Lehane and Patrick Horgan scored nicely against Kilkenny for Cork, who will be anxious to impress Leeside.

John Donnelly’s last gasp point earned Kilkenny the full complement of spoils against Cork.

Derek Lyng’s team now face a spirited Offaly at UPMC Nowlan Park.

Adrian Mullen starred for Kilkenny in the Cork clash, but Offaly were defiant against Wexford.

Brian Duigan struck 1-7 in that match, while Cillian Kiely also made an impact for Offaly, who are hoping to progress further in 2024.

Allianz Hurling League Division One Group B

Saturday 24th February

Tipperary v Westmeath, FBD Semple Stadium, 4pm
Dublin v Limerick, Croke Park, 5.15pm

Sunday 25th February

Antrim v Galway, Corrigan Park, 1pm

Victories over Dublin and Galway ensure it has been a morale boosting opening to the new campaign for Tipperary.

Liam Cahill’s team were slick in those two games, eventually overcoming a resilient Galway challenge in Thurles.

That game illustrated Gearóid O’Connor’s prominent role for Tipperary, while Mark Kehoe and the hard working Willie Connors were other key figures.

Westmeath were unfortunate in Mullingar against Limerick, who pulled away in the closing stages.

Joe Fortune’s charges, though, showed admirable spirit and resolve in that game with David Williams sharp from frees.

On Saturday evening at GAA headquarters Dublin face All-Ireland champions Limerick.

Beaten by Tipperary, Dublin responded by carving out an away win over Antrim at Corrigan Park.

Cian O’Sullivan and Brian Hayes were in good form for Micheál Donoghue’s team, but Limerick will be an awkward assignment at the Jones Road venue.

Donnacha Ó Dálaigh struck 1-4 for John Kiely’s side against Westmeath, while Gearóid Hegarty and Conor Boylan contributed scores following their respective introductions.

In the first two fixtures Limerick have blended emerging and established players together, collecting maximum points.

With the St Thomas’ contingent returning to the Galway fold, Henry Shefflin’s panel is bolstered significantly.

There was plenty to admire in Galway’s approach against Tipperary with Conor Cooney nailing five points from play.

Antrim, though, will be striving to cause an upset in Belfast. Conal Cunning clipped 1-10 against Dublin and is a potent attacking threat for the Saffrons.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A

Saturday 24th February

Laois v Carlow, Laois Hire O’Moore Park, 6pm

Sunday 25th February

Kerry v Meath, Austin Stack Park, 1pm
Down v Kildare, Ballycran, 2pm

The top two clash at Laois Hire O’Moore Park on Saturday evening.

Laois and Carlow have collected four points from their opening matches so this derby match should be lively.

Inevitably Carlow will be looking to Marty Kavanagh and Chris Nolan for scores, but Laois’ Jer Quinlan and Stephen Maher have enjoyed productive moments.

Kerry, who have suffered a couple of losses, host Meath in a vital match for both counties.

It is a similar story for Down and Kildare, who want to accumulate points ahead of the closing rounds.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B

Saturday 24th February

Tyrone v Donegal, O’Neill’s Healy Park, 3pm

Sunday 25th February

Derry v London, Celtic Park, 1pm
Wicklow v Roscommon, Aughrim, 2pm

This is a competitive division with Derry the only county to record full points so far.

At the opposite end of the table Wicklow are the only team not to have registered.

London, Donegal, Tyrone, and Roscommon have all claimed one victory each ensuring plenty is on the line this weekend.

Tyrone’s clash with Donegal is a vital encounter, while Derry will be hoping to maintain their decent form against London, and in Aughrim, Wicklow face Roscommon.

Allianz Hurling League Division 3A

Sunday 25th February

Louth v Sligo, Dowdallshill, 1pm
Monaghan v Armagh, Clones, 2pm
Mayo v Cavan, Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, 2pm

Eager to make an impact under new manager Ray Larkin, Mayo have earned two victories in the competition.

Cavan, who have made progress in the past 12 months once more, will be hoping to summon a defiant display in Castlebar.

Louth host the O’Kelly-Lynch prompted Sligo, who have claimed three points from a possible four.

Monaghan are at home to Armagh, who drew with Sligo.

Allianz Hurling League Division 3B

Saturday 24th February

Leitrim v Lancashire, Avant Money Páirc Seán MacDiarmada, 1pm
Fermanagh v Warwickshire, Brewster Park, 2pm

This is another competitive and hard fought environment with Fermanagh hosting Warwickshire at Brewster Park.

Leitrim host Lancashire in Avant Money Páirc Seán MacDiarmada.

Longford, who have earned three points from two matches, aren’t in action this weekend.