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Big Preview: Allianz Hurling League Round 5

The final round of games in the hurling has counties playing for promotion, relegation and pride.

Allianz HL Division 1A

Clare v Limerick, Cusack Park, 2pm

Revenge has been the word thrown out for Limerick ahead of this one, against their perennial bogey team and the only side that defeated them in the 2018 championship. Clare bounced back strongly last week against Wexford, while Limerick finally came undone against Cork on home turf. John Kiely might dismiss any talk of revenge, but Limerick would absolutely love to get one over the Banner.

Verdict: Limerick

Cork v Tipperary, Pairc Ui Rinn, 2pm

Cork have strung two wins on the bounce and host a Tipperary side who are gasping for a win, having lost narrowly to Kilkenny last week. The work-rate is there but they’re struggling to close out games and shouldn’t be too far off the Rebel’s charge. The Big Preview is giving them one more chance to redeem themselves after letting us down last week.

Verdict: Tipperary

Wexford v Kilkenny, Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm

An all Leinster affair here, as Wexford host Kilkenny and both have play-off aspirations in 1A. Davy has had his scalps over Kilkenny in his time in charge, and Wexford Park isn’t an easy place to go. Having said that, Kilkenny’s rag-tag band of men will be bouncing after victory in Semple Stadium last week. It should be a close one, with the visitors to edge it.

Verdict: Kilkenny

Allianz HL Division 1B

Carlow v Offaly, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm

A win doesn’t do much for Offaly as they play only for pride ahead of a certain relegation play-off. A win for Carlow, should Laois lose to Dublin, will rescue them from the play-off mire and tick off a fine first year in 1B. Everything is with the home side, it’s hard to see the Faithful County doing their neighbours a favour.

Verdict: Carlow

Dublin v Laois, Parnell Park, 2pm

A huge win against Waterford last week highlights the strides Dublin are taking under Mattie Kenny. It’s unfortunate the 1A/1B one up, one down mechanism has been scrapped this year. Laois need a win and to hope Carlow loses to Offaly, but Laois may fail on their side of the bargain.

Verdict: Dublin

Waterford v Galway, Walsh Park, 2pm

A very juicy affair in 1B. Waterford’s fine run came to a halt last week against Dublin, while Galway have been making relatively light work against their 1B opponents thus far with a slightly depleted squad. The news this week that Waterford will be allowed to play their Munster championship games in this venue will be a huge boost to the morale and they’ll be keen to mark that announcement with a win straight away to lay down the marker.

Verdict: Waterford

Allianz HL Division 2A

Antrim v London, Corrigan Park, 1pm

The whipping boys in 2A shouldn’t be much of a threat to Antrim, who need a win to have any hope of making the 2A final.

Verdict: Antrim

Kerry v Meath, Fitzgerald Stadium, 1pm

Kerry are flying and have been ultra prolific in 2A. A win guarantees them a divisional final and it’s difficult to see Meath, who lost narrowly to Westmeath last week, being able to stop the Kingdom.

Verdict: Kerry

Westmeath v Mayo, TEG Cusack Park, 1pm

Westmeath are guaranteed a final place, but that’s no reason to lie down at home to Mayo.

Verdict: Westmeath

Allianz HL Division 2B

Derry v Wicklow, Ballinascreen, 1pm

Wicklow are flying it and a win is likely to get them into the final. Derry however are unbeaten and looking far too good for their 2B opponents, and on home turf should be able to overcome Wicklow and complete the round stage without a fault.

Verdict: Derry

Donegal v Warwickshire, Letterkenny, 1pm

Two teams with nothing to play for, just who is going to finish last in the group. Donegal on home turf should have enough for a Warwickshire side that have been getting hammered in every game.

Verdict: Donegal

Kildare v Down, Newbridge, 1pm

A win for Kildare may not be enough for them to progress, while Down simply need a result to guarantee a final place. The Lilywhites have been narrow losers in each game since their annihilation of Warwickshire and are capable of taking Down to the sword.

Verdict: Kildare

Allianz HL Division 3A

Lancashire v Roscommon, Abbottstown, 1pm

It hasn’t been a great campaign for the British sides. Roscommon are unbeaten and should make light work of the winless Lancashire.

Verdict: Roscommon

Louth v Monaghan, Darver, 1pm

A tough one to call, given the permutations. A win for Monaghan mightn’t be enough while Louth need a win to escape play-off doldrums in place of Monaghan. A huge game for both, and both sides have shown some attacking potency, so it could come down to whoever strikes last.

Verdict: Monaghan

Tyrone v Armagh, Healy Park, 1pm

An interesting all Ulster affair for two teams gunning for 3A promotion. Home rights sway things in Tyrone’s favour, but they’re coming off a resounding defeat to Roscommon, while Armagh were fine winners over Louth. We’re backing that form to continue and for Armagh to set up a final date with Roscommon.

Verdict: Armagh

Allianz HL Division 3B

Fermanagh v Cavan, Lisbellaw, 1pm

A dead rubber game in 3B, pride will be the order of the day of which the home side should get the better of a poor Cavan side.

Verdict: Fermanagh

Longford v Sligo, Pearse Park, 1pm

A preview to the 3B final. Nothing separates these sides, except a single point on scoring difference. Whoever wins this will hold the advantage going into the final. It’s a bit of a toss up, we’ll favour the visitors.

Verdict: Sligo

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