Preview: Weekend’s Leinster and Munster SHC action:
Sunday May 28
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
Dublin v Galway, Croke Park, 2pm, RTE
Ref: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)
Since Galway entered the Leinster Championship a keen rivalry has been developed against Dublin.
The fact that Galway’s 2017 All-Ireland winning manager, Micheál Donoghue, is in charge of Dublin adds another sub-plot at GAA headquarters.
With both counties through to the All-Ireland series, the first Championship mission has been accomplished, but Dublin and Galway would relish another Croke Park assignment in the Leinster decider.
Injuries have disturbed Galway in recent weeks with Cathal Mannion and Fintan Burke forced off early against Antrim.
It has been an encouraging campaign for Dublin, who have adequately dealt with the absence of several key players this year.
Donoghue has crafted a new and gritty panel, who were eventually beaten by Kilkenny at UPMC Nowlan Park last Saturday. A Dublin win by more than four points, combined with a Wexford triumph over Kilkenny will earn Donoghue’s panel a place in the provincial final.
Conor Cooney’s seven point haul from play against Antrim was relevant as Henry Shefflin remains eager to steer Galway into the provincial showpiece. Dublin, making progress under Donoghue, have similar intentions.
Dublin: Seán Brennan, Paddy Doyle, Eoghan O’Donnell, Paddy Smyth, Conor Donohoe, Conor Burke, Daire Gray, Mark Grogan, Chris O’Leary, Danny Sutcliffe, Donal Burke, Cian Boland, Seán Currie, Cian O’Sullivan, Paul Crummey, Eddie Gibbons, John Bellew, James Madden, Andy Dunphy, Darragh Power, Aidan Mellett, Alex Considine, Fergal Whitely, Dara Purcell, Joe Flanagan, Cian O’Boyle.
Galway: Eanna Murphy, Jack Grealish, Gearóid McInerney, Darren Morrissey, Pádraic Mannion, Daithí Burke, Fintan Burke, Joseph Cooney, Tom Monaghan, Ronan Glennon, Evan Niland, Conor Cooney, Kevin Cooney, Conor Whelan, Declan McLoughlin, Darach Fahy, TJ Brennan, Eoin Lawless, Adrian Tuohey, Seán Linnane, Cianan Fahy, Jason Flynn, Donal O’Shea, Liam Collins, Jamie Ryan, Brian Concannon.
Westmeath v Antrim, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
Ref: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary)
Inspired by a remarkable and heroic comeback win over Wexford, Westmeath now face Antrim, who are battling to retain Leinster SHC status.
Joe Fortune’s outfit, who trailed by 17 points at one stage in Wexford, somehow came back to register a morale boosting triumph.
Niall Mitchell’s contribution in the closing stages was crucial, while the splendid Niall O’Brien also added vital scores.
Now Westmeath will want to demonstrate their ability on home turf once more, but Antrim have the ability to cause the locals problem.
Darren Gleeson’s charges were soundly beaten by Galway, but nuggets of hope could be taken from Paddy Burke and James McNaughton’s displays.
Conal Cunning is a crisp finisher too for Antrim, who will be primed for this encounter.
Westmeath: Noel Conaty, Darragh Egerton, Conor Shaw, Johnny Bermingham, Tommy Doyle, Aaron Craig, Robbie Greville, Cormac Boyle, Charlie McCormack, Davy Glennon, Derek McNicholas, Niall O’Brien, Owen McCabe, Joseph Boyle, Ciaran Doyle, Conor Bracken, Niall Mitchell, Shane McGovern, Kevin Regan, Jack Galvin, Eoin Keyes, Peter Clarke, Shane Clavin, Gary Greville, Jack Gillen, Darragh Clinton.
Antrim: Ryan Elliott, Paddy Burke, Ryan McGarry, Niall O’Connor, Gerard Walsh, Eoghan Campbell, Conal Bohill, James McNaughton, Michael Bradley, Keelan Molloy, Conor Johnston, Eoin O’Neill, Conal Cunning, Niall McKenna, Seaan Elliott, Tiernan Smyth, Stephen Rooney, Conor Boyd, Enda Óg McGarry, Daniel McKernan, Paul Boyle, Joe Maskey, Seamie McAuley, Rian McMullan, Neil McManus, Domhnall Nugent.
Wexford v Kilkenny, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 2pm
Ref: Colm Lyons (Cork)
It has been a demanding Leinster SHC for Wexford, who suffered a bitterly disappointing loss to Westmeath.
Ahead by 17 points at one stage, Wexford didn’t close out the deal and are now burdened by relegation worries.
In their opening group game Wexford plundered a couple of early goals in Salthill, but were soundly beaten by Galway.
While they overcame Antrim, chances were squandered against Dublin too so Wexford have endured some cruel defeats with Westmeath staging a remarkable recovery.
Kilkenny did enough to overcome Dublin on home turf at UPMC Nowlan. It was an awkward assignment for Derek Lyng’s charges, who eventually prevailed.
Emerging hurlers in the Kilkenny panel are accumulating valuable minutes, gaining experience ahead of the All-Ireland series.
Kilkenny have won the last three Leinster titles and were beaten in the 2018 (replay) and 2019 deciders.
The striped team are well used to operating in high stakes matches and they will be eager to notch up another Championship success over neighbours Wexford at the weekend.
Wexford: James Lawlor, Shane Reck, Liam Ryan, Conor Devitt, Simon Donohoe, Matthew O’Hanlon, Ian Carty, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Kevin Foley, Jack O’Connor, Liam Óg McGovern, Oisín Foley, Rory O’Connor, Conor McDonald, Lee Chin, Cian Byrne (St Mary’s, Rosslare), Cian Byrne (St Mogue’s, Fethard), Darragh Carley, Cathal Dunbard, Mikie Dwyer, Conor Foley, Conor Hearne, Richie Lawlor, Charlie McGuckin, Niall Murphy, Joe O’Connor.
Kilkenny: Eoin Murphy, Mikey Butler, Huw Lawlor, Tommy Walsh, David Blanchfield, Richie Reid, Darragh Corcoran, Adrian Mullen, Paddy Deegan, Tom Phelan, John Donnelly, Billy Ryan, Martin Keoghan, TJ Reid, Eoin Cody, Aidan Tallis, Conor Delaney, Cillian Buckley, Pádraig Walsh, Conor Fogarty, Alan Murphy, Timmy Clifford, Walter Walsh, Cian Kenny, Shane Walsh, Billy Drennan.
Munster Senior Hurling Championship
Tipperary v Waterford, FBD Semple Stadium, 4pm, GAA GO
Ref: John Keenan (Wicklow)
Things can change quickly in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship.
Following the pain of 2022 it has been a promising start for Tipperary under Liam Cahill, who have delivered a string of defiant and dynamic displays.
That is exactly what Waterford will want to do in Thurles on Sunday.
A brave display was summoned against Limerick, but the subsequent losses ensure that Waterford cannot advance to the All-Ireland series.
Tipperary would love to return to a Munster decider so the blue and gold outfit will be primed for this encounter.
Cahill’s panel has quietly, but effectively dealt with injury setbacks and the emergence of new players bodes well for the future.
Tipperary, with Jake Morris prominent and precise in attack, though are focused on the present.
Waterford will be striving to avoid losing another match in the province so it should be lively.
Tipperary: Rhys Shelly, Cathal Barrett, Michael Breen, Ronan Maher, Eoghan Connolly, Bryan O’Mara, Seamus Kennedy; Dan McCormack, Alan Tynan, Conor Stakelum, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath, Jake Morris, Gearoid O’Connor, Mark Kehoe, Barry Hogan, Conor Bowe, Seamus Callanan, John Campion, Pauric Campion, Joe Fogarty, Enda Heffernan, Brian McGrath, John McGrath, Johnny Ryan, Seán Ryan.
Waterford: Shaun O’Brien, Mark Fitzgerald, Conor Prunty, Conor Gleeson, Iarlaith Daly, Calum Lyons, Jack Fagan; Darragh Lyons, Jamie Barron, Neil Montgomery, Austin Gleeson, Jack Prendergast, Dessie Hutchinson, Stephen Bennett, Peter Hogan, Billy Nolan, Conor Ryan, Paddy Leavey, Patrick Fitzgerald, Tom Barron, Patrick Curran, Padraig Fitzgerald, Colin Dunford, Kevin Mahony, Carthach Daly, Seamus Fitzgerald.
Limerick v Cork, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 4pm, RTE
Ref: James Owens (Wexford)
An eagerly anticipated game with the stakes piled seriously high.
Championship survival is on the line so this promises to be a titantic battle.
Considering the standards attained by Limerick in recent years a defeat to Clare and a draw with Tipperary have been scrutinised.
Cork also divided the spoils with Tipperary, simply underlining how close and hard fought this edition of the Munster Championship has been.
Diarmuid Ryan’s mammoth late score earned Clare a vital victory over Cork, who demonstrated resilience throughout that match.
It was a similarly story during the Tipperary draw with Pat Ryan’s collection of emerging and established performers delivering a gritty performance.
Such durable qualities will certainly be needed against John Kiely’s accomplished team.
Remaining in the race for the Liam McCarthy Cup is the prize on offer.
Limerick: Nickie Quaid, Mike Casey, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash, Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes, Darragh O’Donovan, William O’Donoghue, Gearóid Hegarty, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Peter Casey, Jamie Power, Ciaran Barry, Conor Boylan, Colin Coughlan, Aaron Costello, Adam English, Richie English, Graeme Mulcahy, Shane O’Brien, Cathal O’Neill, David Reidy.
Cork: Patrick Collins, Niall O’Leary, Damien Cahalane, Seán O’Donoghue, Ger Millerick, Ciarán Joyce, Robert Downey, Brian Roche, Luke Meade, Tim O’Mahony, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Declan Dalton, Shane Kingston, Patrick Horgan, Seamus Harnedy, Ger Collins, Eoin Downey, Tommy O’Connell, Ethan Twomey, Conor Cahalane, Sean Twomey, Shane Barrett, Alan Cadogan, Brian Hayes, Conor Lehane, Padraig Power.