SHC previews: Deise return to the Gaelic Grounds

June 08, 2018

The Waterford team huddle before their Munster SHC round 3 clash against Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Kilkenny and Wexford will look to book their place in the Leinster senior hurling championship final alongside Galway this weekend, while down south in Munster the race is still very much open. Here are our previews for the weekend:

 

Saturday, June 9th

Leinster SHC round 5

Kilkenny v Wexford, Nowlan Park, 7pm - SKY

This is set to be the fourth meeting between these two in 2018 and it sees Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford side heading to Nowlan Park as 11/4 outsiders.

Both teams have beaten Dublin and Offaly and lost to Galway in the earlier rounds, leaving them in joint second place on four points apiece with the Model men leading the way comfortably in scoring difference.

With that being the case, a draw here works for the visitors whom are said to have an injury concern over ace forward Rory O'Connor after the St Martin's sharpshooter suffered a hand injury in last weekend's defeat to the Tribesmen.

Kilkenny, on the other hand, need a win to book their slot in the Leinster final on July 1st and many expect them to deliver when they welcome the Slaneysiders to their home turf.

Brian Cody's record against Wexford in the championship is an impressive one which reads 10 wins in 12 meetings and his charges are expected to edge number 11 here.

Verdict: Kilkenny

Galway v Dublin, Pearse Stadium, 7pm

This one's a dead rubber tie as Galway are already through to the Leinster final off the back of three wins and Dublin cannot finish in the top two - although Pat Gilroy's team are out of relegation trouble after last weekend's hammering of Offaly.

Nonetheless, both teams will be using the work out at Salthill to the best of their advantage before this summer really heats up.

Galway's form in this championship has grown by the game and the Dubs - heading west as 9/2 underdogs this weekend - don't look like halting the All-Ireland champions' momentum but plenty rests on both managers' selections.

For the record, Dublin lead the way in past championship meetings between these two, winning five of their seven meetings while the Tribesmen claimed their first victory over the capital three years ago in a Leinster quarter-final.

Verdict: Galway

 

Sunday, June 10th

Munster SHC round 4

Limerick v Waterford, Gaelic Grounds, 2pm

Waterford fans will feel hard done by after last weekend's drawn encounter with Tipperary but, at the same time, they'll be returning to the Gaelic Grounds this Sunday full of optimism.

This one is set to be the first championship clash between the Deise men and Limerick in seven years and it's a tough one to call.

Derek McGrath's side have been luckless with injuries so far in the early part of the summer and the return of Austin Glesson and Pauric Mahony the last day against Tipp very much helped rejuvenate them.

Limerick captain Declan Hannon only saw six minutes of last weekend's thrilling draw with Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh due to a 'tummy bug' and is expected to take the number six jersey again for the Deise men's visit.

A win will see the Shannonsiders leap Cork - whom don't play until next weekend - to the top of the Munster SHC table while it's very much 'do or die' for Waterford as defeat could bring down the curtain on their campaign.

Verdict: Waterford

Tipperary v Clare, Semple Stadium, 2pm - RTE

Sunday sees Tipperary looking for their sixth consecutive championship win over Clare in order to ensure their involvement this summer goes beyond the month of June.

Since the return of target man Seamus Callanan, the Premier County have been picking up points in the Munster SHC table but not wins as draws against Limerick and Waterford are what sees them sitting second from bottom rather than bottom.

Michael Ryan's charges will be coming up against a Clare side which have only had two outings so far in the championship, losing to Cork and beating Waterford, and as they look for their first win over Tipp since the 2003 Munster quarter-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

The Banner County were impressive in thumping the Deise men in Round 2, as centre-forward Peter Duggan weighed in with 1-10 while John Conlon (1-3) and Tony Kelly (0-6) also carried out some irreversible damage in Ennis.

Those three and more will need to be on-song again in this derby as Tipp's wealth of talent in attack all but guarantees a high-scoring return, especially with so much on the line heading into this one.

Verdict: Tipperary

Follow our match tracker this weekend for a feast of action in both the football and hurling championships with live coverage from 15 games across both codes.



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