It’s All-Ireland quarter-final weekend in the hurling championship as four teams vie for two remaining places in the race for the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Here are our previews:
Sunday, July 14th
All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals
Kilkenny v Cork, Croke Park, 2pm – RTE
Ex-Kilkenny star Jackie Tyrrell told RTE Sport earlier in the week that this one has the potential to develop into a shootout and neutrals will be hoping that it turns out to be the case on Sunday.
This showdown at Croker will mark the first championship meeting between Kilkenny and Cork since the Rebels scored a five-point victory over the Cats in Thurles in 2013.
That win advanced the men from Leeside to an All-Ireland semi-final and John Meyler’s men would certainly settle for the same result this weekend.
Kilkenny are a wounded animal following their surprise Leinster final defeat to Wexford and how Brian Cody and his players would love to redeem that loss by ousting Cork with a display here.
Needless to say, TJ Reid (5-54) and Patrick Horgan (4-52) will have a major say for each side and, with 2019 on the line, it could well be one that goes right down to the wire between these two old rivals.
Tipperary v Laois, Croke Park, 4pm – RTE
Laois completely shredded the script against Dublin the last day to earn their right to dance on this stage and face an even more mammoth task in tackling Tipperary at Croke Park.
You have to go back to 1979 since the O’Moore men were last in an All-Ireland quarter-final while Tipp haven’t lost one since 2007, winning three since that time (in 2010, 2014 and 2017).
Liam Sheedy’s side fell flat in the second-half of last month’s Munster final against Limerick and will no doubt be keen to edge closer towards a potential rematch with the All-Ireland champions in August.
The Premier are colossal 1/80 favourites and, given their shooting form before the Munster final, are fancied to run up another big tally on Sunday.
Eddie Brennan has done a remarkable job in steering Laois this far this summer but the fairytale for 2019 looks set to end this weekend.
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