SHC previews: Cats look to bounce back

July 13, 2018

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald shakes hands with Clare joint-manager Gerry O'Connor after their side's Allianz HL clash at Innovate Wexford Park.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

The All-Ireland senior hurling championship quarter-finals take place this weekend and here we preview the two games taking place in Cork and Thurles.

 

Saturday, July 14th

All-Ireland SHC quarter-final

Clare v Wexford, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 3pm - RTE

These two cross paths for the first time in the championship since 2014 when it took two sets of extra time and a replay to separate the sides in the qualifiers.

On that occasion it was Wexford that sent Davy Fitzgerald's Clare side crashing out of the championship, dethroning them of the Liam MacCarthy Cup in the process.

Saturday will see Fitzgerald in the Wexford bainisteoir bib this time and it promises to be an interesting occasion for him as he tries to plot his native county's downfall.

Rory O'Connor has been the star man for the Slaneysiders so far this summer and this weekend's showdown at the fabulous Pairc Ui Chaoimh could well come down to a shoot-out between the St Martin's man and his fellow rising star Peter Duggan, who has struck 2-49 to date for Clare in the championship.

The bookies have sided with the Banner men to reach the last four and it's no real surprise given some of their form that was on display in the latter stages of the Munster championship.

Verdict: Clare

 

Sunday, July 15th

All-Ireland SHC quarter-final

Kilkenny v Limerick, Semple Stadium, 2pm - RTE

This is an airtight one to call and, with both teams' seasons on the line, don't be surprised if it goes down to the wire in Thurles on Sunday afternoon.

Last Sunday saw Kilkenny recover from a nightmare opening quarter against Galway to turn the Leinster final replay into a thriller and they'll be revisiting the same turf this weekend to try and ensure an All-Ireland semi-final place.

If Brian Cody's men are to do so they may well have to without the services of Walter Walsh, who is in a race against time to be fit to face Limerick after straining his groin just 17 minutes into the defeat to the All-Ireland champions.

The Cats have lost just one of their seven All-Ireland quarter-finals to date while Limerick have lost five of their previous eight, but it's the Shannonsiders that are the slight favourites with the bookmakers heading into this weekend.

John Kiely's team crushed Carlow with a 28-point defeat last time out to ensure their berth here and could well end up edging a thriller in this one.

Verdict: Limerick

You can follow all of this weekend's action from the All-Ireland SFC Super 8s and All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals on the hoganstand.com live match tracker.



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