SHC previews: History to be made in Salthill

May 25, 2018

Michael 'Brick' Walsh will embark on his 16th championship campaign with Waterford this weekend.

There are some more intriguing clashes in the All-Ireland senior hurling championship this weekend and here we preview the four games taking place in Leinster and Munster.

 

Saturday, May 26th

Leinster SHC round 3

Offaly v Wexford, O'Connor Park, 7pm

These two meet in the Leinster championship for the first time in six years and Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford side are 1/7 favourites to deliver the goods when they visit Tullamore on Saturday evening.

The Slayneysiders required a huge finish against Dublin last time out and it saw young attacker Rory O'Connor coming up trumps for them big time when the chips were down, finishing with a tally of 0-12 to his name.

Kevin Martin's men will be well aware of the rising St Martins star's deadly influence, especially from placed balls, and they'll have to keep the frees at a premium as they know a defeat here will leave them dangerously close to relegation.

Still though, it's hard to see anything but a Wexford win in this one.

Verdict: Wexford

 

Sunday, May 27th

Leinster SHC round 3

Galway v Kilkenny, Pearse Stadium, 4pm - RTE

Sunday afternoon will mark a piece of history in Salthill as Galway get set to host their first Leinster senior hurling championship game on home soil since joining the competition in 2009.

Fittingly, the opposition for the Tribesmen is the eastern province's kingpins and it should be a cracker when Brian Cody's Kilkenny battle the All-Ireland champions at Pearse Stadium.

The Cats produced another strong finish last weekend against Offaly to ensure two wins from two and keep themselves top of the pile.

Galway, on the other hand, have had a week's break from their hammering of the Faithful men and need a first win in this competition over Kilkenny since the 2012 decider to keep the heat on Cody's men at the top.

Debutant Brian Concannon helped them find their goal-scoring touch last time out and just one might end up being all that separates the sides when all is said and done here.

Verdict: Galway

 

Munster SHC round 2

Tipperary v Cork, Semple Stadium, 2pm - RTE

There were contrasting starts to the newly formatted Munster championship for these two last weekend and it raises the stakes a bit for Tipperary when they welcome Cork this weekend.

The Premier men fell flat against Limerick in the opening round while the Rebels dug deep when it counted most to see off Clare's stern challenge at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

This Sunday's showdown at the home of hurling will be the 86th championship meeting between the counties, with Tipp presently leading in wins 39-38, seven draws and one abandoned game from the previous 85.

When they met in the league back in March it was Michael Ryan's side that scored a 1-24 to 1-21 victory over the Leesiders in Thurles and they're 8/13 favourites to repeat the trick on Sunday.

Since the win over Clare, Cork have lost ace forward Alan Cadogan for the remainder of their season, going by multiple reports, while Robbie O'Flynn is expected to be sidelined for the next four weeks, which leaves them with a gap to try and fill in the front lines.

Verdict: Tipperary

Clare v Waterford, Cusack Park, 3.30pm

Waterford will embark on the All-Ireland senior hurling championship this Sunday for the first time since last September's final defeat to Galway at Croke Park.

The Deise men are set to be without injured stars Austin Gleeson and Pauric Mahony when they head for Ennis to take on a Clare side which were outgunned by Cork in the final quarter at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in round one.

These two crossed swords back in March when Patrick Curran's 1-13 tally made the difference for Waterford and you get the feeling that the Dungarvan sharpshooter will be key if the visitors are to take a win from Cusack Park this weekend.

Unlike their counterparts, Clare report a much cleaner bill of health going into this one and it's perhaps the reason why they're 4/6 favourites over Derek McGrath's charges.

The Banner men need a win to keep away from the drop zone early and we expect them to edge this one here.

Verdict: Clare

Be sure to follow the hoganstand.com Live Match Tracker this weekend for all the latest action from the senior football and hurling championships.



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