AN EPIC Munster Senior Hurling Championship continues on Sunday, with the obvious highlight being the tussle involving holders Limerick and Tipperary in front of an anticipated crowd of 40,000 at Semple Stadium in Thurles (4pm).
Earlier in the afternoon, Clare meet Cork at Cusack Park, Ennis (2pm) with both games televised on RTÉ 2.
The current state of play is that Waterford have tamely exited the running, while it’s up in the air as to which pairing out of Limerick, Cork, Clare, and Tipperary will contest the Munster Final on June 11.
It also has to be decided who will secure that important third qualifying spot from the province into the All-Ireland series, where Limerick have been ever-present since their 2018 breakthrough.
From a Limerick perspective, manager John Kiely is hoping his charges should be refreshed after a three week break following the slender home loss to the Banner County.
He told the Irish Examiner: “I have full faith in this group in the way they are going to respond to it (the loss). There is an incredible togetherness in the group. There is a tremendous bond and honesty in the group and I think when you have that you know we can depend on them to respond in the right way and the right manner over the next few weeks.”
An enforced absentee is ACL troubled Seán Finn, with Mike Casey his most likely replacement in the full-back line. Kiely will announce his selection on Friday at 9am.
The Liam Cahill managed Tipperary are unbeaten in two away starts (win v Clare and draw v Cork) and are relishing (more so as 3/1 outsiders) the arrival of the All-Ireland and Munster champions to their doorstep.
“Limerick coming now, they’ll be hurting after the Clare game so it’s another great challenge for the group,” said veteran Séamus Kennedy post-match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
“But we’re really looking forward to getting back to Thurles. I think the Tipp crowd will like a lot of what they’ve seen in the last two outings, so hopefully we’ll get a big Tipp crowd there for that game.”
Limerick are tipped to give an improved display from the opening couple of afternoons and put a stop to the gallop of high-scoring Tipp.
On Sunday week, Limerick host Cork at the Gaelic Grounds while Tipp are home to Waterford.