GAA National Hurling League

Cork and Tipperary clash again this Sunday afternoon in Páirc Uí Rinn

Éanna Atkinson looks forward to this weekend’s National Hurling League Action

This weekend we have one NHL quarter final, a relegation playoff and a collection of postponed hurling fixtures as a result of last weekend’s adverse weather conditions. 

Last weekend saw final round games involving Wexford v Kilkenny, Cork v Tipperary and Waterford v Galway all fall victim to inclement weather.

Cork welcome Tipperary to Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday afternoon. This game will be shown live on TG4.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny go to Innovate Wexford Park to face their Leinster rivals Wexford. Deferred coverage will be shown of this game preceding the live game on TG4.

NHL Division 1A – Cork v Tipperary (Throw-in @ 2pm, live on TG4, on 10/03):

These two teams come into this game on the back of contrasting results over the past few weeks.

Tipperary have lost their last three games, whilst the Rebels’ form has picked up nicely, winning their last two.

Although Tipperary are going through a bad run of form at this moment in time, I just feel one of these days it is all going to click for Liam Sheedy’s charges. For the most part they have been beaten by very narrow margins so far this year.

They have quality players all over the field that can hurt any team in the country. Also, a lot of their big players, like last years captain Padraic Maher and this years captain Seamus Callanan, are around the 30 mark, so I think their experience at this level will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the year.

After a poor start to the league, Cork have really improved in the last two games, beating Clare in Ennis and impressively accounting for All-Ireland champions Limerick last time out. They will be hoping to keep this run going against their old foes.

Patrick Horgan has been in brilliant form during this fruitful period for the Rebels. He has scored 1-40 in four league games, and 1-9 off this came against Limerick. He is probably the best free-taker in the country at the moment and he is very dangerous from open play also.

I think Tipp have a real chance this weekend of stopping the rot. It certainly won’t be easy for the Premier County to go Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday and beat the in-form Rebels, but Tipperary to win @ 5/4 does seem like good value to me. A safer bet for your accumulators perhaps, would be Tipp with a 3-point head start @ 8/15.

Verdict: Tipperary +3 @ 8/15

Check out all of Bar One Racing’s National Hurling League betting here

NHL Division 1A – Wexford v Kilkenny (Throw-in @ 2pm, Deferred Coverage on TG4 from 3:40pm, on 10/03):

Wexford and Kilkenny have both won two and lost two in their opening four games. I have no doubt that these two sides, who both have designs on winning the Leinster Championship this year, will be hoping to get one over on each other this Sunday.

In comparison to some of the other top managers, I think Davy Fitzgerald is really targeting the league this year. It would certainly give them a great boost going into the championship if they could capture the league crown.

Also, it could lift the pressure off Davy himself who is now into his third year, as the Wexford Faithful would really be hoping that they can make a big impression this term. Having said all this, I think the Slaneysiders are still well up against it in Division 1, even though the big hitters are not at full tilt yet.

I would imagine that Brian Cody is pretty satisfied at how this year’s league has panned out. The 2018 league champions have not been at full strength so far, although in the last number of weeks, quality players like Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan have returned for the Cats. Once the Ballyhale contingent return from their club exploits, I think Kilkenny will have a real say in this year’s championship.

I think this could be a very close contest, but I fancy Kilkenny to go to Wexford and come back with the two points. This would be a big statement from the Cats but I think they have enough quality to account for Wexford this weekend.

Verdict: Kilkenny @ 8/11

Division 1 Quarter-Final – A (Throw-in @ 7pm, Live on TG4, on 09/03):

Laois v Limerick Verdict: Limerick -11 (Handicap Betting) @ Evens

Division 1B Relegation Play-Off:

Offaly v Carlow Verdict: Offaly @ 4/7

Division 1B:

Waterford v Galway Verdict: Galway @ 11/10




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