'Park to host match of the day

'Park to host match of the day

Kilkenny’s own Nowlan Park will house the match of the day this weekend.

The high flying Cats face equally high flying Dublin in the top of the table clash in Division IA of the Allianz National Hurling League on Sunday (2pm).

And the victors could be rewarded with the top spot in the table which would lead to the perceived easier draw in the quarter-finals.

Currently the Dubs head the standings on scoring difference from Kilkenny, followed by defending champions, Waterford.

So the scoring on Sunday will decide the finishing places in the table.

No Easy Options

“There are no easy options in this League,” Kilkenny manager, Brian Cody has always insisted.

“The fact it is a top of the table clash on Sunday says it all about this match.”

Dublin won the corresponding fixture last year, the first time in 51 years that they beat Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.

The teams will meet after registering spectacular results last weekend.

The Dubs brought Waterford’s 10 game unbeaten run to an end. Manager Ger Cunningham really has his squad firing on all cylinders.

Kilkenny won an absolutely amazing game against Cork on Saturday, but, sadly, it came at a price.

Powerful midfielder, Conor Fogarty, received a bad leg injury, the second time in as many seasons he has been injured in Pairc Ui Rinn.

The Erin’s Own (Castlecomer) man had the leg x-rayed on Monday, and that suggested no bones were broken.

If that can be confirmed, then Fogarty could be back playing in about three weeks.

However, Kilkenny have decided to send the player for a scan to be absolutely certain about the extend of the injury.

A scan, after an x-ray, revealed more damage than was first thought last year, so the All-Ireland champions are taking no chances.

The complete story on Fogarty’s injury will be known at the end of the week.

Robert Lennon, who made his full debut against Tipperary a few weeks ago, was picked on the original team to face Cork.

Stand down

He had to stand down after picking up a slight hamstring strain. His place was taken by last year’s captain Joey Holden.

Bennettsbridge man Lennon should be fit to fight for a place at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny have hardened into 13/8 from 15/8 favourites to win back the Dr Croke Cup, the glittering prize for the ’League.

Following their loss to Dublin, reigning champions Waterford have been eased out to 7/2 from 5/2 whilst Dublin have seen their price cut into 6/1 from 9/1.

Such is the interest ahead of Sunday’s big clash that Kilkenny are preparing for a crowd that could hit the 10,000 mark.

Meanwhile, clubs have been told that the staring date for the senior, intermediate and junior hurling leagues/championships will be the weekend of April 22/24.

The fixtures booklet confirming games for the season was handed out to club delegates at Monday’s historic first meeting held in the John Lockes Park complex in Callan.

Delegates were also told that if the Leinster hurling final goes to a replay (July 16) it won’t be played in Croke Park because Beyonce is in concert there at that time.

Allianz Hurling League

Roinn 1A

                                          P   W   L   D   F   A   Pts

Dublin                             4   3   1   0   84   76   6

Kilkenny                         4   3   1   0   83   77   6

Waterford                   4   3   1   0   69   66   6

Tipperary                       4   1   2   1   89   81   3

Galway                             4   1   2   1   85   90   3

Cork                               4   0   4   0   92   112   0

This weekend’s fixtures:

Kilkenny v Dublin

Tipperary v Cork

Waterford v Galway

All games throw-in at 2pm.