Leinster and Munster qualifer hurling action

June 13, 2011

A first ever Leinster senior championship clash between the counties and a first championship clash for 70 years as Galway's switch to Leinster takes them into opposition with a Dublin team which is on a high after winning the Allianz Hurling League Division I title for the first time since 1939. The novelty of the pairing adds to the intrigue of what promises to be a great occasion as Galway and Dublin go head-to-head in Tullamore next Saturday evening (7.0) with the winners playing Kilkenny in the final on July 3.

On Sunday, All-Ireland champions, Tipperary take on Clare in the second Munster semi-final with the winners playing Waterford in the final on July 10. Also, it's the opening weekend of the All-Ireland qualifiers with Laois playing Cork and Antrim playing Westmeath.

They have met only twice previously in championship history in the 1941 All-Ireland semi-final and in the 1924 final. Dublin won by 2-4 to 2-2 in the 1941 semi-final and had six points (5-3 to 2-6) to spare in the 1924 final.

Dublin beat Offaly by 2-21 to 1-20 in the Leinster quarter-final while Galway beat Westmeath by 4-17 to 2-14. Paul Ryan 1-8 (0-8 frees, 1-0 penalty), Peadar Carton 1-0 and Alan McCrabbe 0-3 were Dublin's top scorers against Offaly while Cyril Donnellan scored 3-1, Aonghus Callanan 1-1 (0-1 free) and Damien Hayes 0-4 as Galway finished strongly against Westmeath.

Last Clash.....
Galway 2-11 Dublin 0-14 (Allianz Hurling League, 27 March 2011, Parnell Park) A stoppage time goal by Eanna Ryan gave Galway a dramatic victory in a game which Dublin seemed set to win for a long time. Dublin led by 0-5 to 0-0 after fifteen minutes but wasted several chances before Galway battled back to trail by one point (0-9 to 0- 8) at half-time. Galway levelled on the re-start and a Cyril Donnellan goal put them three points clear before Dublin battled back to draw level. Further points were exchanged, leaving the sides level in stoppage time before Ryan's late strike won the day for Galway. It was very disappointing for Dublin who shot 19 wides to Galway's seven. It was Dublin's only defeat in a League campaign where they clinched the title with a win over Kilkenny in the final.

They last met in the Munster championship in 2009 when Tipperary won by 3-18 to 1- 22 in a game where Noel McGrath (0-7), John O'Brien (1-2), Lar Corbett (1-1), Eoin Kelly (0-3) and Pat Kerwick (0-3) were their top scorers. Colin Ryan led the Clare scoring on 0-12, followed by Diarmuid McMahon on 1-2 and Jonathon Clancy on 0-3. It was Tipperary's third successive win over Clare, leaving the Banner chasing their first win over the Premier since 2003 when they won by 2-17 to 0-14. Clare last reached the Munster final in 2008 (they lost to Tipperary) while Tipperary were last there in 2009, when they beat Waterford.

Last Five Championship Clashes
2009: Tipperary 3-18 Clare 1-22 (Munster semi-final)
2008: Tipperary 2-21 Clare 0-19 (Munster final)
2005: Tipperary 2-14 Clare 0-14 (Munster semi-final)
2003: Clare 2-17 Tipperary 0-14 (Munster quarter-final)
2002: Tipperary 1-18 Clare 2-13 (Munster quarter-final)

Clare are having their first outing in the championship after missing out on promotion to Division I of the Allianz Hurling League (they lost the Division 2 final to Limerick) whereas Tipperary already have a Munster SHC game behind them, beating Cork by 3- 22 to 0-23 in the first round. Eoin Kelly led the scoring stakes on 1-7 (0-5 frees), Lar Corbett 1-2, Seamus Callanan 0-5, Noel McGrath 0-4 (0-2 side lines) while Benny Dunne scored a goal as the All-Ireland champions finished strongly to win by eight points.

Both sides had two outings in Leinster. Antrim beat Laois by 1-21 to 3-12 and lost to Wexford by 3-16 to 1-11 while Westmeath beat Carlow (3-10 to 1-14) and lost to Galway by 4-17 to 2-14.

Neil McManus was Antrim's top scorer in their two games, delivering a total of 0-15; Conor McCann scored 1-4 and Karl Stewart 0-7. Brendan Murtagh is Westmeath's top scorer on 0-12; Derek McNicholas scored 3-0 and Brian Smyth 1-3. Antrim and Westmeath met in the Allianz Hurling League (Div II) on March 27 with Antrim running out four point winners, 2-13 to 2-9 in Cusack Park, Mullingar. Westmeath had two players sent off and Antrim, for whom Neil McManus scored 0-7 and Conor Carson 2-0, finished strongly to win on the day.

It's only the second Championship clash between the counties and a first since the 1915 All-Ireland final when Laois, represented by Ballygeehan, beat Cork, represented by Redmonds, on a 6-2 to 4-1 scoreline. The last major clash between the counties was in the 1984 Centenary Cup final which Cork won by 2-21 to 1-9. Cork go into the qualifiers off a 3-22 to 0-23 defeat by Tipperary in the Munster quarter final.

Patrick Horgan scored 0-13 (0-10 frees) while Ben O'Connor and Niall McCarthy scored 0-3 each as Cork recovered to draw level in the 56th minute before losing out on the home stretch. Laois lost the Leinster quarter-final to Antrim by 1-21 to 3-12. Laois led by 2-7 to 1-5 at half-time, but Antrim, who had a man sent off five minutes into the second half, staged a spirited recovery to run out three point winners. Willie Hyland was Laois's top scorer on 1-4 The Laois-Cork winners will play Offaly in the next qualifying round.

First Round
May 14: Antrim 1-21 Laois 3-12, Portlaoise.
May 22: Westmeath 4-10 Carlow 1-14, Dr. Cullen Park.
May 29: Dublin 2-21 Offaly 1-20, Parnell Park; Wexford 3-16 Antrim 1-11, Wexford
June 4: Galway 4-17 Westmeath 2-14, Mullingar.
June 11: Kilkenny 1-26 Wexford 1-15; Wexford Park.
Next Saturday: Galway v Dublin, Tullamore.
July 3: Kilkenny v Dublin/Galway, Croke Park.

May 29: Tipperary 3-22 Cork 0-23, Thurles.
June 12: Waterford 3-15 Limerick 3-14, Thurles.
Next Sunday: Clare v Tipperary, Limerick.
July 10: Waterford v Clare/Tipperary.

First round
May 14: Down 3-16 Donegal 1-13, Letterkenny; Derry 2-13 Tyrone 0-6, Omagh;
Armagh 5-19 Fermanagh 5-6, Enniskillen.
May 28: Down 3-19 Derry 1-9, Casement Park; Armagh 2-18 Monaghan 2-6, Newry
June 12: Armagh 0-14 Down 1-10, Casement Park.
June 26:
Antrim v Armagh, Casement Park.

Preliminary Round
June 18: Antrim v Westmeath; Laois v Cork.
Phase 1
June 25: Antrim/Westmeath v Carlow; Laois/Cork v Offaly.
Phase 2
July 2: Beaten Leinster semi-finalists (Wexford and Dublin/Galway) v beaten Munster
semi-finalists (Limerick and Clare/Tipperary)
Phase 3
July 9: Phase 1 winners v Phase 2 winners (2 games)

July 24: Beaten Leinster and Munster finalists v Qualifier winners. (Venue TBC)

August 7: Leinster champions v quarter-final winners, Croke Park.
August 14: Munster champions v quarter-final winners, Croke Park
September 4, Croke Park.

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