Hard to pick winner from Dublin Limerick clash

Dublin v Cork - Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 3A RUN out on in Croke Park is Limerick’s consolation prize after yet another failed attempt to escape from Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League, and according to Paddy Power this is a genuine toss of a coin fixture. They bet even money each of the two teams and 8/1 the draw for Saturday evening’s clash and frankly, at that price we’re inclined to steer clear of a patriotic play. It’s not just that we were burned each of the last two weeks backing the county hurlers, but more how Dublin have been quite impressive, both early on in the season and the manner in which they pulled themselves out of their mini-slump with an excellent (and important) win over Galway last week.

On championship form, Limerick are still a fraction ahead of Dublin in the overall pecking order, but this game will be played in front of a large, partisan home crowd and with Ger Cunningham’s side in far better form at the moment. If we were having a bet here, Dublin at evens would make for far better value.

Limerick’s footballers might make for marginally better value at 15/8 at home to Clare on Sunday, but here too it’s very difficult to look past the lack of confidence that there is in the squad. For long stretches of the defeat to Wexford and even for short bursts in Enniskillen, it looked as if this group were finally finding a little bit of rhythm. The under-21s also gave the county a boost with a decent showing against Cork, but the critical drawback here is that ultimately, all three matches ended in defeat. It’s been a long time now since the victory over Sligo and while Clare are finding that life isn’t as easy in division three as they thought it would be early in the year, they still are a little bit more advanced. Limerick plus two at even money might be worth a small investment, but there are better options out there.

The two bets that lead off the page for us are Waterford to beat Galway at 4/5, and Cork minus five against a Wexford side whose limitations were fully exposed last Sunday.

Previously we would have argued that Cork’s shyness in front of goal makes them a poor team when it comes to covering a spread, but that’s been blown out of the water this year. 2-22 is their average tally in front of goal over this league campaign and against a comparatively leaky Wexford defence, they could easily run riot this week.

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Waterford are a bit of a riskier proposition but they have got some nice momentum with a young team, while Galway are notoriously bad travellers in the league. They’ve played eleven games outside of Pearse Stadium in the last three years and only won two – and nothing that happened last Sunday in Parnell Park suggested that this year will be any different.

Odds supplied are from Paddy Power – by Kevin Egan