HL previews: Cork and Limerick to shoot it out at Pairc Ui Chaoimh

February 21, 2020

The Allianz Hurling League continues this weekend. ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

It’s Round 4 of the Allianz Hurling League this weekend and here we preview all of the games on schedule as the race for promotion heats up across all divisions.


Saturday, February 22nd

HL Division 1 Group B round 4

Dublin v Wexford, Croke Park, 5pm - eir Sport

Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford side head for the capital on Saturday looking for their second win on the bounce after edging Kilkenny on home turf in Round 3.

Rory O’Connor, Lee Chin and Matthew O’Hanlon all came off the bench to help the Slaneysiders past the Cats last time out and you can expect more game time into that trio this weekend at Croker.

Dublin produced a clinical second-half display to see off Carlow by 11 points last weekend and Mattie Kenny’s charges will be looking for more of that if they are to down the Leinster champions.

Verdict: Wexford

Laois v Carlow, MW Hire O'Moore Park, 7pm

This derby hits Portlaoise on Saturday night and sees the hosts as strong favourites at 3/10 to inflict a fourth consecutive defeat on Carlow.

Eddie Brennan’s men welcome the Barrowsiders in search of their first win of the campaign and would all but consign their neighbours to the drop should they pick up the points here.

With aces like Ross King, Stephen Bergin and Willie Dunphy in their pack, it’s hard to see past the O’Moore men.

Verdict: Laois

HL Division 2A round 4

Wicklow v Kerry, Arklow, 2pm

Kerry trip east to Arklow in search of win number four in Division 2A and not many will back against them carrying their 100 per cent record into the fifth and final round.

Fresh off Fitzgibbon Cup success with UCC, Shane Conway’s fine scoring form was again present when the Kingdom saw off Meath with five to spare last weekend and he looks set to be another thorn in the side of Wicklow.

Verdict: Kerry

HL Division 2B round 4

Derry v Warwickshire, Celtic Park, 1pm

The early throw-in is at Celtic Park on Saturday as pointless Warwickshire look to tear up the script against 1/100 favourites Derry.

The Oak Leafers are gunning for their third win and this division now looks like coming down to the rescheduled third round clash between themselves and Kildare.

Verdict: Derry

HL Division 3B round 4

Lancashire v Fermanagh, Abbotstown, 3.30pm

One of these sides is set to move to the top of Division 3B on Saturday evening and it’s Lancashire that get the nod going on displays thus far in the bottom tier.

Verdict: Lancashire


Sunday, February 23rd

HL Division 1 Group A round 4

Waterford v Galway, Walsh Park, 2pm

Galway go east in search of a third win this weekend after having their Round 3 clash with Tipperary postponed.

It was the same deal for Waterford last weekend after their meeting with Limerick was called off as a result of Storm Dennis and it could see both sides light it up at Walsh Park on Sunday after a spell off.

Galway boss Shane O’Neill had St Thomas' clubman Fintan Burke down to make his debut against Tipp in Salthill last time out and the defender is likely to get the nod for the battle with the Deise men.

There will also be first league starts for James Skehill, Niall Burke and Conor Cooney should O’Neill stick with the same selection he named last Friday night.

Verdict: Draw

Cork v Limerick, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 2pm - Deferred coverage on TG4

This one could well be a cracker when these two sides clash at Pairc Ui Chaoimh as Limerick look to maintain their 100 per cent record and inflict Cork with a second loss in the process.

The Rebels were made battle against Westmeath last time out in Mullingar, where Patrick Horgan’s 2-8 contribution proved salient for the winners.

As for Limerick, they had their plans to host Waterford scuppered by Storm Dennis and the holders are slightly fancied at 4/5 for their trip to Leeside on Sunday.

Mike Casey, Diarmaid Byrnes, Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane were all named as returnees to the side which was set to take on Waterford last weekend, while Brian Ryan and Darren O’Connell look to be in line for their league debuts for the Treaty County in Round 4.

Verdict: Limerick

Tipperary v Westmeath, Nenagh, 2pm

Westmeath went down fighting to Cork in Mullingar the last day and will look to draw some inspiration from positive aspects of that performance when they head to MacDonagh Park on Sunday.

Shane O’Brien’s men are 14/1 outsiders against a Tipperary side which saw their third round clash against Galway postponed last weekend.

Seamus Callanan, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer and Barry Heffernan were down to make their first league starts of 2020 in that one and are expected to be in Liam Sheedy’s line-up for the Lake County’s visit this weekend.

That could see captain Callanan back with a bang as he looks to continue the form that saw him crowned ‘Hurler of the Year’ in 2019.

Verdict: Tipperary

HL Division 1 Group B round 4

Kilkenny v Clare, UPMC Nowlan Park, 2pm

Sunday will see Kilkenny looking to bounce back from their late loss to Wexford last time out as Clare come to visit them at UPMC Nowlan Park.

The Banner men are undefeated after three games and now face their toughest test of the campaign in trying to hand the Cats back-to-back defeats.

Brian Lohan’s side came up with a strong finish to see off Laois in Round 3 and know they’ll need a better all-round display when they travel to take on the Leinster kingpins.

Verdict: Kilkenny

HL Division 2A round 4

Antrim v Meath, Portglenone, 12.30pm

Meath trip north for the early throw-in on Sunday at Portglenone, where it looks like being a close encounter to call between themselves and hosts Antrim.

Antrim have picked up two wins from two outings thus far while the Royals need a win in this one to keep their outside hopes of promotion alive.

Verdict: Antrim

Mayo v Offaly, MacHale Park, 2pm

Offaly have a win and a loss so far and should take home a second pair of points from Castlebar on Sunday.

Mayo are sitting bottom of the division after three defeats and have a score difference of -44, meaning anything other than a win for the Faithful men would be a huge shock.

Verdict: Offaly

HL Division 2B round 4

Kildare v Roscommon, Hawkfield, 12pm

These two sides currently sit on four points but, with a game in hand, Kildare can put some real daylight between themselves and Roscommon with victory here.

The Rossies are 9/2 underdogs for the trip to Newbridge and it’s hard to see them tearing up the script against David Herity’s charges on this occasion. 

Verdict: Kildare

London v Down, Ruislip, 2pm

Down head across the water looking to keep the heat on their fellow contenders in the race for top spot in Division 2B.

London are winless so far but have ran a couple of teams close and therefore will be no pushovers for the Mourne men.

Verdict: Down

HL Division 3A round 4

Armagh v Louth, Athletic Grounds, 2pm

Armagh will see Louth’s visit to the Athletic Grounds as an opportunity for two more points in their claim for promotion and, all things considered, should get the job done going on form.

Verdict: Armagh

Donegal v Monaghan, Letterkenny, 2pm

This Ulster derby hits Letterkenny and it’s hosts Donegal whom are fancied for their third win of the campaign when the pointless Farney men come to visit.

Verdict: Donegal

Tyrone v Longford, Healy Park, 2pm

Tyrone were comfortable in their win over Monaghan in Round 3 but face a different kind of proposition when the Midlanders come north on Sunday.

Verdict: Longford

HL Division 3B round 4

Sligo v Leitrim, Markievicz Park, 2pm

Leitrim saw off a poor Cavan effort last time out and will surely have their work cut out when they head to Markievicz Park for a derby with promotion favourites Sligo.

Verdict: Sligo

A double line-up of Allianz Football and Hurling League fixtures this weekend. Follow the hoganstand.com match tracker for live updates on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

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