Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Seán O’Brien looks ahead to this weekend’s Allianz Hurling League games
Round 3 of the Allianz Hurling League is on next weekend’s agenda in the first double-up of the season, which also features a full football programme. Waterford (1A), Clare and Limerick (1B), Antrim and Westmeath (2A), Down and Mayo (2B), Fingal and Roscommon (3A) are all unbeaten after the first two rounds.
Division 3A: Top Two In Athleague Showdown
Saturday: Tyrone v Warwickshire, Omagh, 5pm.
Sunday: Roscommon v Fingal, Athleague, 1pm; Monaghan v Louth, Castleblayney, 1pm;
Roscommon and Fingal have both won their opening games, making their clash in the Athleague on Sunday really important. Roscommon beat Fingal by 3-24 to 1-11 in last year’s Allianz League. Tyrone and Louth have two points each while Monaghan and Warwickshire are still looking for their first win.
In the other Divisions:
Division 1A: All-Ireland Final Re-Run In Nowlan Park
Saturday: Dublin v Cork, Croke Park, 5pm
Sunday: Kilkenny v Galway, Nowlan Park, 2pm; Tipperary v Waterford, Thurles, 2:30pm;
Kilkenny v Galway has been a very busy rivalry in recent years, including three All-Ireland final clashes (draw and replay in 2012 and last year). They resume next Sunday when Brian Cody’s All-Ireland champions host the Tribesmen in Nowlan Park. This will be the 13th Allianz League and Championship clash between the counties since the start of 2012, with Kilkenny having won seven to Galway’s three while there were two draws from their previous 12 meetings. Both have won one and lost one of their two Allianz League games so far.
Tipperary v Waterford is a re-run of last year’s Munster final and Allianz League semi-final, which produced one win each. Waterford won the Allianz League semi-final (1-19 to 2-15) while Tipperary won the Munster final (0-21 to 0-16). Waterford have got off to a great start this year, beating Kilkenny and Cork in their first two games while Tipperary beat Dublin and lost to Kilkenny.
Dublin and Cork met twice in last year’s Allianz League with Cork winning both in very high-scoring contests. They won the 1A clash by 0-34 to 1-20 and the semi-final by 1-27 to 2-23. Dublin have won one of two games so far while Cork are bottom of the table after losing to Galway and Waterford.
Division 1B: Clare And Limerick Living Up To Expectations
Saturday: Laois v Clare, Portlaoise, 7pm
Sunday: Kerry v Wexford, Killarney, Tralee, 12.35pm; Offaly v Limerick, Tullamore 2pm
Clare and Limerick were pre-season favourites for promotion and, so far at least, they have lived up to expectations, winning their first two games, while there are only two points (Limerick +18 and Clare +16) between them in scoring difference.
Laois, who have lost both games, host Clare on Saturday. They last met in the All-Ireland qualifies, when Clare won by 1-32 to 0-15. Limerick head for Tullamore on Sunday to take on Offaly, who beat TJ Ryan’s men by three points last year.
Kerry, who have won one of two games, host Wexford, who have lost to Clare and Limerick and now find themselves at the bottom of the table.
Division 2A: Top Two In Mullingar Clash
Saturday: London v Kildare, Ruislip, 1:30pm
Sunday: Carlow v Derry, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm; Westmeath v Antrim, Mullingar, 1:30pm.
Having won their first two games, Westmeath and Antrim have put themselves firmly in the promotion slots, giving their clash in Cusack Park real significance. Their last clash was in last year’s Leinster championship ‘round robin’ with Westmeath winning by 1-21 to 0-7.
London and Carlow are both on two points as they prepare to take on Kildare and Derry, neither of whom have taken a point so far. Carlow beat Derry by two points in last year’s Allianz League while London and Kildare did not meet as the Lilywhites were in 2B.
Division 2B: Top Two Meet In Ballycran
Sunday: Wicklow v Armagh, Aughrim, 12:45pm; Down v Mayo, Ballycran, 2pm; Meath v Donegal, Trim, 2pm
Down and Mayo have both won their opening two games so the winners of their clash will become outright leaders in the race for promotion. Down beat Mayo by 2-20 to 0-15 in last year’s League. Armagh and Meath are both on two points while Donegal and Wicklow are still seeking their first points.
Division 3B: Opening Day On Sunday
Sunday: Sligo v Fermanagh, Markievicz Park, 12:30pm; Longford v Leitrim, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
With only four teams in this division, it starts later than the rest. Sunday’s programme launches the campaign.
Overall Fixtures And Results
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
Round 1: Galway 1-27 Cork 1-21; Tipperary 1-23 Dublin 0-12; Waterford 0-14 Kilkenny 0-10.
Round 2: Dublin 1-17 Galway 0-13; Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 0-18; Waterford 0-20 Cork 1-14.
Round 3: March 5: Dublin v Cork; March 6: Kilkenny v Galway; Tipperary v Waterford.
Round 4: March 12: Cork v Kilkenny; March 13: Galway v Tipperary; Waterford v Dublin.
Round 5: March 20: Kilkenny v Dublin; Tipperary v Cork; Waterford v Galway.
Allianz Hurling League Divison 1B
Round 1: Clare 2-21 Offaly 0-15; Limerick 2-23 Wexford 0-15; Kerry 1-24 Laois 2-14.
Round 2: Limerick 1-19 Kerry 1-15; Offaly 1-17 Laois 0-15; Clare 0-18 Wexford 1-11.
Round 3: March 5: Laois v Clare; March 6: Kerry v Wexford; Offaly v Limerick.
Round 4: March 12: Limerick v Laois; March 13: Wexford v Offaly; Clare v Kerry.
Round 5: March 20: Clare v Limerick; Laois v Wexford; Offaly v Kerry.
April 2/3: Top 1A v 4th 1B; 2nd 1A v 3rd 1B; 3rd 1A v 2nd 1B; 4th 1A v Top 1B.
Semi-Finals – April 17
Final – May 1
Allianz Hurling League Division 2A
Round 1: Antrim 1-21 Derry 2-12; Westmeath 2-16 Louth 0-13; Carlow 2-13 Kildare 0-14.
Round 2: Antrim 3-25 Kildare 3-13; London 5-16 Carlow 1-11; Westmeath 2-11 Derry 0-13.
Round 3: March 5: London v Kildare; March 6: Carlow v Derry; Westmeath v Antrim.
Round 4: March 12: Kildare v Westmeath; March 13: Derry v London; Antrim v Carlow.
Round 5: March 20: Carlow v Westmeath; Kildare v Derry; London v Antrim.
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B
Round 1: Down 2-16 Armagh 2-14; Mayo 1-14 Donegal 0-13; Meath 0-22 Wicklow 0-13.
Round 2: Armagh 2-14 Donegal 1-8; Down 4-12 Wicklow 0-11; Mayo 0-19 Meath 2-9.
Round 3: March 6: Wicklow v Armagh; Down v Mayo; Meath v Donegal.
Round 4: March 13: Armagh v Meath; Mayo v Wicklow; Donegal v Down.
Round 5: March 20: Armagh v Mayo; Down v Meath; Wicklow v Donegal.
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A
Round 1: Fingal 4-18 Warwickshire 1-6; Roscommon 1-16 Louth 1-14; Tyrone 2-18 Monaghan 2-13.
Round 2: Louth 2-11 Warwickshire 2-10; Roscommon 1-12 Monaghan 0-10; Fingal 4-10 Tyrone 1-17
Round 3: March 5: Tyrone v Warwickshire; March 6: Monaghan v Louth; Roscommon v Fingal.
Round 4: March 12: Warwickshire v Roscommon; March 13: Fingal v Monaghan; Louth v Tyrone.
Round 5: March 20: Louth v Fingal; Monaghan v Warwickshire; Roscommon v Tyrone.
Allianz Hurling League Division 3B
Round 1: March 6: Sligo v Fermanagh; Longford v Leitrim.
Round 2: March 13: Fermanagh v Longford; Leitrim v Sligo.
Round 3: March 20: Leitrim v Fermanagh; Sligo v Longford.