Preview, Fixtures & Tables – Munster and Leinster Hurling Championship

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Leinster hurling

The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship begins on October 24th. Similar to the football championship, each fixture will be finalised on the day, utilising penalties if necessary. The GAA have confirmed that the 2020 Hurling Championship will also adopt a knockout format. However a back-door system will be implemented in addition to this, giving teams an alternative avenue to the 2020 SHC Final. Up-to-date fixtures for this year’s competition are listed below.

 

Leinster hurling fixtures

Quarter-Final (Oct 24th/25th)

Laois vs Dublin

Semi-Finals (Oct 31st/Nov 1st)

Galway vs Wexford

Kilkenny vs Laois/Dublin

Final (Nov 14th/15th)

Semi-Final Winner 1 vs Semi-Final Winner 2

 

Munster hurling fixtures

Quarter-Final (Oct 25th)

Limerick vs Clare

Semi-Finals (Oct 31st/Nov 1st)

Cork vs Waterford

Tipperary vs Limerick/Clare

Final (Nov 15th)

Semi-Final Winner 1 vs Semi-Final Winner 2

 

 

All-Ireland Championship

Round 1 (2 games) (Nov 7th/8th)

Round 2 (2 games) (Nov 14th/15th)

Quarter-Finals (2 games) (Nov 21st/22nd)

Semi-Finals (Nov 28th/29th);

Leinster Champions vs Quarter-Final Winner

Munster Champions vs Quarter-Final Winner

Final (Dec 13th)

Semi-Final Winner 1 vs Semi-Final Winner 2

 

Preview

Leinster

Last year’s finalists Kilkenny will begin their campaign against either Dublin or Laois in the Leinster provincial semi-final encounter. Despite a heavy defeat against Tipperary in the 2019 final, Kilkenny will be aiming to go one better this year and claim the championship. To achieve this they may need to rely once more on star centre-forward and last year’s top scorer TJ Reid.

Galway and Wexford may be Kilkenny’s biggest challengers at provincial level. Galway were victorious in the 2017 All-Ireland final and then narrowly beaten in the 2018 final. Wexford will look to retain their Leinster title. Given the congested fixture list due to a delayed start to this season’s championship, each team will be determined to bypass the preliminary quarter-final stage and cement their place at the semi-finals.

Anything can happen during a knock-out style tournament and teams like Dublin and Laois will need to take a few scalps if they hope to progress in this season’s championship.

Munster

Reigning champions Tipperary kick off the new season with a clash against Limerick or Clare in the Munster Championship semi-final. Cork face Waterford in the other semi-final. Despite the fact that Waterford failed to win a single game in the 2019 Munster Championship, they have performed to a high level in this season’s Allianz Hurling Division 1. They were sitting in second place in Group 1 before the season was curtailed.

Akin to Waterford, Clare also had a successful 2019 Allianz League campaign as they finished top of Division 1 Group 2 above Wexford and 2019 finalists Kilkenny. They will battle it out against 2018 All-Ireland champions Limerick who will be hoping to go one further and reach the All-Ireland final this season.

There is a sense of optimism around the county that this Limerick team can recreate their triumphant win two years ago after John Kiely’s return to the managerial position. The quarter-final encounter between Clare and Limerick will double up as the Munster Allianz League Division 1 final.

 

Prediction

Tipperary remain strong favourites to retain the Liam McCarthy Cup. However there are plenty of teams that may fancy their chances this year, especially under the new format where any team can win on their day. Limerick, Kilkenny, Galway and Cork to name a few, will all be eager to knock Tipperary off their throne. It is set to be an exciting All-Ireland Hurling Championship which will come to a climax on December 13th in Croke Park.

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