Hurling and camogie


BUSY: Aaron Gillan'es Fitzgibbon commitments may rule him out of Limerick's clash with Kilkenny Picture: Philip Walsh
Compiled by Padraig Kelly

Division 1A

Kilkenny v Limerick

(tomorrow, Nowlan Park, 2pm, live on TG4)

THE top two teams in Division 1A meet at Nowlan Park tomorrow as second-placed Kilkenny host front-runners Limerick.

The All-Ireland champions have started the League season particularly well and wins over Wexford and Tipperary have them well on their way to a favourable quarter-final spot.

Aaron Gillane has been their top scorer (1-14) over the first two games but his involvement remains up in the air as he will be involved in Fitzgibbon Cup final action today as his Mary Immaculate College side take on University College, Cork.

John Kiely will be hoping that the attacker can play some part at least as they try and build on their excellent 1-21 to 1-14 win over Tipp in round two. Diarmuid Byrnes was the star of the show on a night when Limerick came from behind at the break to power home in freezing conditions.

As well as from Gillane and Byrnes, the Treaty men had good scoring contributions from goal-scorer Graeme Mulcahy and centre half-forward Tom Morrissey and they don't seem to have any hangover from last year's long campaign.

Kilkenny started out with a win over Cork but they lost out to a more physical Clare side by a point in round two.

The possible return from injury of Walter Walsh could help on that front but the cautious approach surrounding Richie Hogan (back) is likely to remain in place.

Manager Brian Cody has said that he will not be risking the four-time Allstar until he is sure that he is absolutely fit, so it's unlikely that he will make an appearance.

Padraig Walsh could be in line for a start having played 20 minutes against Clare but Cillian Buckley (knee) and Bill Sheehan (hand) remain out for the foreseeable future.

Although they only lost by a point to Clare last time out, they were second best for most of the contest and a 75th-minute goal from Kevin Kelly just made the game appear closer than it was.

The Banner county won the majority of the physical and aerial contests, something that would have annoyed Cody.

He has responded by cranking up the pressure on the visitors claiming that they are “the best team in the country.” Make no mistake, he would love the opportunity to leave a welt on Limerick.

This will be Kilkenny's last home game of the group stage and they can take advantage of the familiar surroundings to take a big step towards a quarter-final place.

Odds: H: 5/4 D: 17/2 A: 5/6

Verdict: Kilkenny

Cork v Clare

(tonight, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7.15pm, live on RTE2/eir Sport 1)

CORK'S hunt for their first League points continues tonight as Clare make the two-hour trip to Páirc Uí Rinn.

The match was originally scheduled for Páirc Uí Chaoimh but has been switched due to concerns about the pitch at the recently redeveloped ground.

Rebel forward Declan Dalton, who featured in the defeats to Kilkenny and Wexford, will miss the rest of the League as he recently had knee surgery.

Clare will welcome Tony Kelly back to the fold after he missed the round two win over Kilkenny following his controversial red card against Tipperary.

Odds: H: 11/10 D: 8/1 A: 1/1

Verdict: Clare

Wexford v Tipperary

(tomorrow, Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm, deferred on TG4)

BOTH Wexford and Tipperary are amongst the four teams on two points so this is an important fixture.

Wexford come into the contest on the back of a fine win over Cork while Tipperary were second best against Limerick last time out.

Premier boss Liam Sheedy is set to be without Cathal Barrett, John ‘Bubbles' O'Dwyer, Dan McCormack and Barry Heffernan although John McGrath could be fit to start.

Davy Fitzgerald, meanwhile, is sweating on star players Lee Chin and Rory O'Connor.

Odds: H: 15/8 D: 9/1 A: 8/15

Verdict: Tipperary

Division 1B

Waterford v Carlow

(tonight, Fraher Field, 7pm)

THE #CarlowRising hashtag isn't exclusively for the county's footballers with the hurlers earning an incredible draw with Galway last time out.

Given that they had pushed Dublin so hard in the first round, it's fair to say that Colm Bonnar's side are not looking out of place in Division 1B.

Waterford have had two routine wins thus far and their combined winning margin against Laois and Offaly has been 43 points.

They should make it three wins on the spin here, but they should face a much stiffer examination in the process.

Odds: H: 1/33 D: 25/1 A: 10/1

Verdict: Waterford

Laois v Offaly

(tonight, O'Moore Park, 7pm)

ONE pointless record – or maybe both if it ends in a draw – is set to go in Portlaoise tonight as the bottom two teams face off.

Offaly's worrying dip in form was brought up at a recent county board meeting and they could really do with a win here to settle things down.

Eddie Brennan's Laois side would have been targeting this game from long out though and home advantage may just be key.

Odds: H: 4/7 D: 9/1 A: 13/8

Verdict: Laois

Galway v Dublin

(tomorrow, Pearse Stadium, deferred on TG4)

GALWAY gave away vital group on Waterford and today's opponents Dublin when they surprisingly drew with Carlow in round two but with promotion not on the cards in 1B this year, that slip doesn't really matter.

They will remain without the St Thomas's contingent after their All-Ireland Club semi-final win over Cuhsendall last weekend.

Dublin also struggled against Carlow before winning by six points. They followed it up with a hammering of Offaly – Oisin O'Rorke with both goals.

Odds: H: 2/5 D: 10/1 A: 5/2

Verdict: Galway

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