Brian Cody speaks to his Kilkenny players ahead of the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork last earlier this year. Pic: Daire Brennan
The May Bank Holiday Weekend will go with a bang as master and apprentice meet in the Leinster hurling championship.
The unveiling of the provincial fixtures saw Kilkenny hurling fans focus on one game - the meeting of Brian Cody’s Cats and Henry Shefflin’s Galway. With the Leinster championships returning to a round-robin format in 2022, the sides will meet in round three in Galway on the long weekend in May.
For Kilkenny the championship begins with a trip to Westmeath on the weekend of April 16/17 before they play Laois in their first home game a week later.
The mouthwatering meeting with Galway will be followed by another away day, this time against Dublin, before they close out the round robin series with a home tie against old foes Wexford.
The Cats will be keen to keep their grip on the Bob O’Keeffe Cup, which they have won during the last two years of the championship, which was shortened on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Their win over Dublin saw the county capture the cup for a 73rd time and on course for a first three in a row since the 2014-2016 triumphs.
Shefflin will begin his Tribesmen tenure with a game against fellow newcomer Darragh Egan and Wexford before successive home games against Westmeath and Kilkenny.
In Munster, All-Ireland champions Limerick will start out in a repeat of last year’s MacCarthy Cup decider by taking on Cork in round one.
Round one (April 16/17): Dublin v Laois, Wexford v Galway, Westmeath v Kilkenny.
Round two (April 23/24): Kilkenny v Laois, Wexford v Dublin, Galway v Westmeath.
Round three (April 30/May 1): Laois v Wexford, Galway v Kilkenny, Westmeath v Dublin.
Round four (May 14/15): Dublin v Kilkenny, Laois v Galway, Westmeath v Wexford.
Round five (May 21/22): Kilkenny v Wexford, Galway v Dublin, Laois v Westmeath.
Round one: Cork v Limerick, Waterford v Tipperary.
Round two: Limerick v Waterford, Tipp v Clare.
Round three: Clare v Limerick, Waterford v Cork.
Round four: Cork v Clare, Limerick v Tipperary.
Round five: Tipperary v Cork, Clare v Waterford.
The New Year will also see the return of the traditional preseason Walsh Cup. Kilkenny have been drawn in group two with Laois and Wexford and will start with a bye in round one before opening their campaign at home to Laois on the weekend of January 16.
Group A : Dublin, Offaly, Galway, Antrim.
Group B: Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford.
Round One: Dublin v Antrim, Galway v Offaly, Laois v Wexford. Bye: Kilkenny.
Round Two: Dublin v Galway, Offaly v Antrim, Kilkenny v Laois (January 16, 2pm). Bye: Wexford.
Round Three: Antrim v Galway, Offaly v Dublin, Wexford v Kilkenny (January 23, 2pm). Bye: Laois.
The final, between the winners of Group A and Group B will be played on January 30.
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