Allianz Hurling League

Kilkenny's League fate to be settled this weekend

Cats must beat Dublin if they are to reach quarter-finals

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Kilkenny will be hoping T.J. Reid can lead them to victory against Dublin this weekend. Photo: Michael Brophy

Tension and excitement will run high at venues all over the country next Sunday as the final round of divisional games in the Allianz Hurling League settle several various qualification/relegation play-off issues.

The main interest will be in Allianz Hurling League Division 1A where with the exception of Tipperary, who are certain to top the group – all the counties will have their final placings decided by Sunday’s results.

Kilkenny need to win to give themselves a chance of reaching the quarter-finals and to avoid a relegation play-off while Dublin need to win to give themselves a chance of avoiding a relegation play-off. Either Kilkenny or Dublin are certain to be in the relegation play-off.

Kilkenny beat Dublin twice last year – 0-23 to 1-14 in the Allianz League and 1-25 to 0-16 in the Leinster semi-final.

Tipperary, who are three points ahead of their closest pursuers, will top the group irrespective of how they fare against Cork and qualify to meet fourth-placed (Laois, Kerry, Offaly) in the quarter-final. Cork will reach the quarter-finals if they win. A draw or defeat could leave them with a qualification chance, depending on other results. Tipperary beat Cork in last year’s Allianz Hurling League (2-27 to 2-15) and Munster championship (0-22 to 0-13).

Clare and Waterford are both on four points so the winners will reach the quarter-finals. A draw might be enough to get both through. The counties met three times last year, resulting in one win each and one draw.

They drew (0-22 each after extra-time) in the Allianz League final before Clare won the replay (1-23 to 2-19). Waterford gained revenge in the Munster semi-final, winning by 1-21 to 0-17.

Fixtures: Sunday (All 3pm) - Clare v Waterford, Ennis; Cork v Tipperary, Pairc Ui Rinn; Dublin v Kilkenny, Parnell Park.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 1B

Wexford, Galway and Limerick are through to the quarter-finals. Wexford will top the group irrespective of how they fare against Laois and will play the fourth-placed in the Allianz Hurling League 1A in the quarter-finals. Wexford beat Laois by 0-22 to 0-21 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League.

Galway and Limerick are battling it out for the runners-up up spot to Wexford. They last met in the Allianz Hurling League in 2014 when Galway won a quarter-final tie by six points. The winners of Sunday’s game will play third-placed in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A in the quarter-finals, with the losers facing second-placed in 1A.

Kerry and Laois have two points each, with Offaly still to pick up a point after losing all four games to date. However, they will qualify for the quarter-finals if they beat Kerry and Wexford beat Laois. A Kerry win would see them through if Laois lose to Wexford. Laois will go through if they beat Wexford and Kerry lose or draw.

In effect, Kerry, Laois and Offlay are still in contention for a quarter-final place; alternatively two of them will be in a relegation play-off.

Kerry beat Offaly by 2-18 to 2-17 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League but Offaly gained revenge in the Leinster championship ‘round robin’, winning by 3-19 to 0-20.

Fixtures: Sunday (All 3pm) - Kerry v Offaly, Austin Stack Park, Tralee; Limerick v Galway, Gaelic Grounds; Wexford v Laois, Innovate Wexford Park.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2A

A draw for Antrim (7pts) against Westmeath (4pts) would be enough to earn the Ulstermen a place in the Allianz Hurling League final. Even if they lose, they are still in with a big chance of clinching a place in the final. Westmeath beat Antrim by 2-11 to 0-10 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League.

Carlow (6pts) will clinch a place in the final if they beat Armagh but if they lose and Kildare (5pts) beat London, the Lilywhites will reach the decider. Kildare and London drew in last year’s Allianz Hurling League.

Fixtures: Sunday (ALL 1pm) - Kildare v London, Clane; Antrim v Westmeath, Cushendall; Carlow v Armagh, Netwatch Cullen Park.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2B

Having won all four games, Meath and Wicklow have qualified for the final as they are four points ahead of Derry and Down. It leaves their clash in Trim something a ‘dead rubber’, with real test for both coming when they clash in the final in early April. Derry and Down are both on four points so the winner of their clash will finish third. Roscommon and Mayo have lost all four games.

Fixtures: Sunday (All 3pm) - Roscommon v Mayo, Athleague; Down v Derry, Ballycran; Meath v Wicklow, Trim.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 3A

There’s midweek action this week when Tyrone (4 pts) host Donegal (6pts) on Wednesday in a game postponed from March 5.  Monaghan lead the way on eight points. If Donegal beat Tyrone, they and Monaghan will be finalists, irrespective of results in the final round. However, if Tyrone win, it will be a three-way battle for the final places in the last round.

Fixtures: Wednesday (8pm) - Tyrone v Donegal, Omagh. Sunday (3pm) - Monaghan v Tyrone, Iniskeen; Louth v Donegal, Darver.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 3B

Longford (full points from three games) and Warwickshire (six points from four games) have qualified for the final as their closest pursuers, Sligo and Fermanagh are on two points ahead of the final round next weekend.

Fixtures: Sunday (1pm) - Fermanagh v Leitrim, Brewster Park, Enniskillen; Sligo v Longford, Markievicz Park.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE 2017: RESULTS AND FIXTURES

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 1A

Round 1: Cork 0-21 Clare 1-11; Tipperary 1-24 Dublin 1-8; Waterford 1-15 Kilkenny 0-17.
Round 2: Dublin 2-19 Cork 1-14; Clare 2-19 Kilkenny 0-12; Tipperary 1-18 Waterford 0-15.
Round 3: Waterford 2-19 Dublin 1-17; Kilkenny 0-22 Cork 0-15; Tipperary 0-28 Clare 0-21
Round 4: Tipperary 2-17 Kilkenny 3-14; Clare 0-20 Dublin 1-15; Cork 1-21 Waterford -13.
Round 5: Mar 26: Cork v Tipperary; Clare v Waterford; Dublin v Kilkenny

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 1B
Round 1: Kerry 3-14 Laois 0-19; Galway 6-23 Offaly 1-12; Wexford 1-14 Limerick 0-14.
Round 2: Laois 1-26 Offaly 1-20; Wexford 1-21 Galway 3-13; Limerick 6-21 Kerry 3-8.
Round 3: Limerick 1-25 Offaly 3-15; Galway 3-31 Laois 1-11; Wexford 3-18 Kerry 0-12.
Round 4: Limerick 6-33 Laois 1-19; Wexford 1-17 Offaly 0-15; Galway 1-22 Kerry 0-12.
Round 5: Mar 26: Kerry v Offaly; Wexford v Laois; Limerick v Galway.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE QUARTER-FINALS
Apr 1 /2: 1st 1A v 4th 1B; 2nd 1A v 3rd 1B; 3rd 1A v 2nd 1B; 4th 1A v 1st 1B
SEMI-FINALS
Apr 16
FINAL
Apr 23

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2A
Round 1: Antrim 0-20 London 0-13; Kildare 1-18 Armagh 1-15; Carlow 1-13 Westmeath 1-11.
Round 2:  Antrim 2-15 Carlow 0-21; Kildare 1-16 Westmeath 0-14; Armagh 1-13 London 1-13.
Round 3: Carlow 3-22 London 2-7; Westmeath 3-29 Armagh 0-16; Antrim 1-16 Kildare 1-14.
Round 4: Westmeath 2-20 London 2-7; Antrim 2-18 Armagh 2-11; Kildare 2-17 Carlow 1-20.
Round 5: Mar 26:  Kildare v London; Antrim v Westmeath; Carlow v Armagh.
Final: Apr 1 /2: 1st v 2nd

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 2B
Round 1: Derry 1-14 Mayo 1-13; Meath 4-21 Down 1-10; Wicklow 2-17 Roscommon 0-7.
Round 2: Down 1-21 Roscommon 1-16; Meath 2-19 Derry 0-16; Wicklow 2-17 Mayo 1-17.
Round 3: Meath 2-16 Roscommon 1-16; Wicklow 1-21 Derry 1-11; Down 2-23 Mayo 0-12.
Round 4: Derry 3-16 Roscommon 0-12; Wicklow 1-18 Down 0-11; Meath 2-18 Mayo 0-15.
Round 5: Mar 26: Down v Derry; Roscommon v Mayo; Meath v Wicklow.
Final: Apr 1 /2: 1s v 2nd

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 3A
Round 1: Donegal 2-23 Louth 1-14; Monaghan 3-15 Tyrone 1-11.
Round 2: Monaghan 1-21Donegal 3-14; Tyrone 5-16 Louth 0-12
Round 3: Tyrone v Donegal postponed; Monaghan 1-10 Louth 1-8.
Round 4: Monaghan 2-12 Louth 2-9; Donegal 2-14 Tyrone 0-15.
Round 5: Donegal 1-21 Monaghan 2-13; Tyrone 1-23 Louth 2-10
Mar 22nd - Tyrone v Donegal; Healy Park, Omagh 8.0 (Rescheduled from Mar 5th)

Round 6: Mar 26: Louth v Donegal; Monaghan v Tyrone.
Final: Apr 1 /2: 1st v 2nd

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 3B
Round 1:  Warwickshire 3-9 Sligo 3-8; Longford 2-13 Fermanagh 0-7
Round 2: Warwickshire 2-12 Fermanagh 1-9; Longford 2-19 Leitrim 3-13.
Round 3: Fermanagh 2-15 Sligo 1-14; Warwickshire 0-18 Leitrim 2-10
Round 4: Sligo 3-17 Leitrim 1-15; Longford 2-18 Warwickshire 2-12.

Round 5: Mar 26: Fermanagh v Leitrim; Sligo v Longford.
Final: Apr 1 /2: 1st v 2nd