Leinster and Munster Hurling Championship: team news, TV details and throw-in times

All to play for as seven of eight teams in contention this weekend could either progress or play no further part in the championship


Leinster SHC

Kilkenny v Wexford, UPMC Nowlan Park, 2.0 [Live, GAAGo] – This has become a bugbear for Kilkenny. Although the county are chasing a fifth successive Leinster title, the relationship with Wexford has shifted to the point where the champions’ only win in the last five championship matches has come courtesy of Hawk-Eye and extra time in 2021. Good news for Kilkenny is the complete return of all the recently injured team members with Adrian Mullen being named in the panel for Sunday. Their form though is another day’s work. Since what looked like a creditable draw in Galway, they dropped a point to Carlow and had to pedal fast to head off Dublin. They may well be motivated by Wexford’s stranglehold on the fixture but it mightn’t be as straightforward as that. Under Keith Rossiter, Wexford’s blend of youth and experience have stepped it up after a poor start, dropping points to Dublin and Antrim and they have been humming in the past two matches. There is a combination of results that ends their season – defeat and a draw in Salthill – but chances are they will be around for the All-Ireland series even if they go down to a first championship defeat in Nowlan Park for eight years.

Verdict: Kilkenny

Galway v Dublin, Pearse Stadium, 2.0 [Live, RTE2]Dublin have had a decent campaign, competitive in all matches so far but this is not a favoured venue – away outcomes against Galway are disproportionately worse than the flawless home record in championship. Last week’s concession of a late goal against Kilkenny was hugely frustrating, as a win would have sped the Dubs to the Leinster final. Cian O’Sullivan is named on the team despite sustaining what he said was a season-ending injury. Assuming his absence, he’s a big loss for the team, taking with him his pace and attacking movement up front. Galway have not really impressed to date and followed the limp defeat by Wexford with a display in Belfast that only took off after Antrim had a man sent off. Conor Whelan had a better display in Corrigan Park and is still relied on by Galway although Evan Niland’s dead ball accuracy is generally phenomenal and Gavin Lee has been a penetrative presence. Dublin need to stay in the contest, cut down on wides and hope Galway’s less impressive traits start to recur. Home advantage, though, looks decisive.


Verdict: Galway

Antrim v Carlow, Corrigan Park, 2.0 – Another fixture where home advantage may well tilt the balance. Antrim have been more effective here by a distance, Defeating Wexford and putting it up to Galway for the first half. Carlow had the distinction of taking a point off Kilkenny but the strain of rapid-fire MacCarthy Cup matches appeared to take its toll last week against Wexford.

Verdict: Antrim

Munster SHC

Limerick v Waterford, TUS Gaelic Grounds, 4.0 [Live, RTE2] – This season is every bit as much on the line for Limerick as last year’s was and Waterford’s form is no empty threat. We can, however, expect some sort of response from the champions to the nerve shredding climax in Cork a fortnight ago. Mike Casey has recovered in the nick of time from injury to slot into Seán Finn’s place. Finn would usually have picked up Dessie Hutchinson so presumably Casey will be tasked with the marking job. Hutchinson has been a little below par to date, and this would be an appropriate place to revisit his six-point broadside from two years ago at the venue. There was much valid talk about the Cork genie being released from the bottle after the result in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh but although under the radar because of the result, Séamus Flanagan’s 3-2 from play was a similar unleashing of a recently dormant talent. Conor Prunty’s absence is a terrible problem for Waterford; two years ago, he did a good job on Gearóid Hegarty at wing back but had to return to his more usual surrounds after Iarlaith Daly picked up an injury, having done a more than decent job on Aaron Gillane for half an hour. It’s tough on Waterford to lose key players in big matches and Limerick’s taste for goals against a weakened defence may be decisive but John Kiely will also be looking for signs of life from his half backs after a disappointing campaign to date.

Verdict: Limerick

Tipperary v Clare, FBD Semple Stadium, 4.0 [Live, RTE News/Player] – Tipperary will surely be motivated by the wreckage left after this fixture was dress rehearsed as a league semifinal in March. A year ago, Tipp ravaged Clare with goals but everything since then has pointed to a redressed balance between the teams and a growing gap. The form of Shane O’Donnell, especially, and Mark Rodgers has been glittering and their goal scoring has been in contrast to the home side. Clare have been a consistently competitive team during the past two seasons and it will be a major surprise if they don’t rigorously exploit Tipp’s current demoralisation.

Verdict: Clare

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times