Tipperary v Waterford: Tipperary (-2) – 4/6
Liam Sheedy looks to have got the Tipperary hurling machine purring again after an outstanding performance down on Leeside. Cork simply had no answer to the smart forward movement and dominating physicality the Premier County brought to the table.
Tipperary grabbed a huge 2-24 from play in their 34-point haul and looked to be able to score at will against an ailing Rebels defence. That’s a great sign for Sheedy as his side welcome Waterford to Semple Stadium on Sunday.
The Déise come into this one on the back of being upset on their big return home to Walsh Park last Sunday and they could be a bit rocked by that defeat to Clare. The space afforded to John Conlon for the opening goal for the Banner will have the Tipperary forwards ravenous for the coming weekend and new Waterford boss Páraic Fanning will know that a single-point loss probably flattered them in the end.
It’s very hard to see Tipp losing this one and with a bumper home support behind them, we fancy them to do it with a bit to spare.
Limerick v Cork: Limerick (-3) – 11/10
Where to start with the issues The Rebels have heading into this one!
Firstly, their backs were taken to the cleaners by Tipperary (as we’ve mentioned above), but John Meyler will be as worried for the form of their forwards. Outside of talisman Patrick Horgan, Cork’s attackers struggled to win the ball against Tipp’s burly back-line and they’re in for more of the same on Sunday.
Limerick might just be the most physical team in hurling at the moment and come into the tie fresh, having had the luxury of watching the rest of Munster battle it out last weekend.
John Kiely’s men should be bouncing after adding the National League crown to their collection in March, making it back-to-back national titles for them. The hurlers are now the darlings of the Treaty city, with Munster Rugby now relegated to the number two spot, and you’d have to expect a massive crowd at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday to witness them getting their All-Ireland defence underway.
We don’t believe a week is long enough to fix the problems Cork have and we reckon Limerick will get a first win on the board here with plenty left in the tank.
Dublin v Wexford: Wexford – 13/10
This might just be the toughest game of the weekend to call, but it shouldn’t be that way if you are a Dublin fan.
Mattie Kenny’s Dubs totally let Kilkenny off the hook last weekend with a flat second half show.
Dublin rampaged into the first period and had a healthy lead going into the break, but Kenny will have been mystified by that drop-off as they slumped to a five-point defeat.
Like Limerick, Wexford had the watching brief last weekend and their manager Davy Fitzgerald used the time to pop along to Nowlan Park to have a gander at this week’s opposition. The Yellowbellies picked up big victories over Cork, Tipperary and Kilkenny in the League and you can bet Fitzgerald will have them fired up for this one.
In a funny way, playing in the tight surrounds of Dublin’s Parnell Park could actually suit Wexford more given the sweeper system they operate and we’re going with Davy’s boys to just about edge this one.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to throw-in.