The 2018 Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final will be a Leinster versus Munster affair after the semi-finals produced same-province pairings.
It’s Limerick against Tipperary in Thurles on Saturday (7pm) and Kilkenny against Wexford in Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday (2pm) after Tipperary beat Dublin and Wexford eliminated defending champions, Galway in last weekend’s quarter-finals.
It leaves Limerick as the only 1B side in the last four.
KILKENNY v WEXFORD
They meet for the second time in three weeks and for the third time this year. Wexford won the Walsh Cup final on frees after the sides finished level at the end of extra-time in January, but Kilkenny won the Round 5 Allianz Hurling League clash in Nowlan Park on March 11 by three points (0-22 to 0-19).
T.J. Reid scored 0-12 as Kilkenny led all the way. They were six points ahead after 59 minutes but Wexford cut the deficit to two points before Walter Walsh hit Kilkenny’s last point.
The sides met in last year’s Allianz Hurling League quarter-final which Wexford won and they repeated the success in the Leinster semi-final.
Kilkenny last reached the Allianz Hurling League final in 2014, which was also the last time they won the title. Wexford’s last appearance in the decider was in 1993. They last won the Division 1 title in 1973.
PATHS TO THE SEMI-FINAL
WEXFORD - Wexford 2-20, Waterford 0-19 (1A); Wexford 0-21, Cork 1-14 (1A); Tipperary 3-21, Wexford 1-21 (1A); Wexford 0-20, Clare 1-13 (1A); Kilkenny 0-22, Wexford 0-19 (1A); Wexford 1-23, Galway 0-23 (quarter-final)
KILKENNY - Cork 1-24, Kilkenny 0-24 (1A); Clare 2-18, Kilkenny 1-18 (1A); Kilkenny 1-20, Waterford 1-12 (1A); Kilkenny 2-22, Tipperary 2-21 (1A); Kilkenny 0-22, Wexford 0-19 (1A); Kilkenny 0-24, Offaly 1-19 (quarter-final).
Tipperary and Limerick will meet for the first time since 2010 when Tipperary won a Division 1 game by 2-23 to 0-8. They have met three times in the championship since then with Tipperary winning three to Limerick’s two.
Tipperary, who last won the Division 1 title in 2008, are bidding to reach the final for a second successive year. Limerick last won the Division 1 title in 1997 and were last in the final in 2006.
The counties will meet again in the first round of the Munster championship ‘round robin’ on May 20.
Tipperary secured a place in the semi-final with an 11-point win over Dublin in Sunday’s quarter-final, while Limerick built on their successful promotion run in Division 1B to beat Clare in a dramatic shoot-out.
How they both got there:
TIPPERARY - Clare 1-21, Tipperary 0-19 (1A); Tipperary 1-20, Waterford 1-11 (1A); Tipperary 3-21, Wexford 1-21 (1A); Kilkenny 2-22, Tipperary 2-21 (1A); Tipperary 1-24, Cork 1-21(1A); Tipperary 2-25, Dublin 0-20 (quarter-final).
LIMERICK - Limerick 1-25, Laois 0-18 (1B); Limerick 1-24, Offaly 0-10(1B); Limerick 1-26, Dublin 0-17 (1B); Limerick 3-21, Antrim 0-13 (1B); Limerick 2-18, Galway 1-19 (1B); Limerick 4-21, Clare 0-33 (Limerick won 7-6 on ‘65s’ shoot-out in the quarter-final after sides were level following two periods of extra-time.
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