Hurling & Camogie

Tipperary and Dublin can navigate All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-final ties

Jake Morris can provide the scores to see Tipperary through to the All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals
Jake Morris can provide the scores to see Tipperary through to the All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals




Offaly v Tipperary (Glenisk O’Connor Park, 4pm, live on GAAGO)

OFFALY have been making slow progress this year so far. A return to Division 1B of the Allianz League was nothing short of fundamental, and although Kildare earned a point off the Faithful, they managed to exact some measure of revenge in the League final.

They beat the same opponents in round two of their Joe McDonagh campaign, a key victory on their run to the final. Two games against Carlow concluded their campaign, the first an 18-point trimming in Netwatch Cullen Park, before a 1-31 2-29 defeat in Croke Park.

Their hand has also been hampered by injury, forcing a rejig from the Joe McDonagh decider, while key man Dara Maher is suspended.

It all points towards a rather convincing Tipperary victory. They will feel aggrieved at the missed opportunity of a Munster final after an unexpected loss against Davy Fitzgerald’s Waterford. At times they have shown the level of performance required to beat any team, with a draw against Limerick and the opening-day five-point win over Clare the kind of results they can draw from on the big days.

This is not one of those days. In Jake Morris they have one of the finest hurlers in the land, and he will be licking his lips at the chance to down their neighbours.

Carlow v Dublin (Netwatch Dr Cullen Park, 5pm)

THREE weeks on from their Joe McDonagh success, Carlow will have home advantage for the visit of Dublin. Martin Kavanagh was the hero on that occasion, and the prize on the line clearly meant the world to his outfit if his words with RTÉ are anything to go off: “This is our All-Ireland final. To come out on top is unbelievable”.

Grounding themselves from those highs provides its own challenge, not to mention the partying that surely unfolded in Bagenalstown, Tullow, and beyond. That is one of several reasons why the bookies have the handicap at 11 points.

Dublin have shown signs of improvement under former Galway manager Micheál Donoghue, epitomised by the draw against his former team in Croke Park. Dublin could and probably should have won that day and given what we saw with Cillian Buckley’s last-gasp goal last weekend, they are not that far away.

Dublin had nine different scorers in the first half that day, while they also saw off Wexford as underdogs earlier on in their Leinster campaign. In previous campaigns, Carlow may well have had a decent chance, but the experience of the likes of Danny Sutcliffe, combined with the form of Donal Burke, should see the Dubs win comfortably.