Kilkenny's Adrian Mullen on his way to scoring a goal against Cork in last year's All-Ireland semi-final. Pic: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Kilkenny hurling faces a busy start to 2022 and, if things go well for the Cats, it might not slow down until well into the summer.
Brian Cody’s side will begin their campaign when the Walsh Cup returns to competitive action this weekend.
The opening fixture against Laois will be followed by a clash with Wexford a week later, but both games will have to be negotiated without the Shamrocks contingent, as the Ballyhale men continue their quest for a third successive club All-Ireland crown when they take on Galway’s St Thomas in the semi-final at Semple Stadium on January 23.
Should results go their way Kilkenny could round off January with a Walsh Cup final before opening their National League campaign a week later when they play host to Antrim at UPMC Nowlan Park.
The games will continue to flow thick and fast through February and March, with the first clear break coming between the League final and the opening game in the round-robin Leinster championship, which comes back after a year’s absence in April. Provincial duties will keep Kilkenny busy until June, at which time the All-Ireland championship kicks in.
The race for the MacCarthy Cup will flow until July, with the All-Ireland final pencilled in for July 17.
Walsh Cup: Kilkenny v Laois (John Locke Park, Callan), 2pm.
Walsh Cup: Wexford v Kilkenny (Chadwicks Wexford Park)
January 23 AIB Club Senior semi-final: Shamrocks v St Thomas (Semple Stadium), 3.30pm.
AIB Club Junior semi-final: Mooncoin v Salthill (Gaelic Grounds), 1.30pm
Walsh Cup final
AIB Club Junior final (Croke Park).
Allianz HL Round 1: Kilkenny v Antrim (UPMC Nowlan Park), 1pm.
AIB Club Senior final (Croke Park).
Allianz HL Round 2: Tipperary v Kilkenny (Semple Stadium), 3.45pm.
Allianz HL Round 3: Kilkenny v Laois (UPMC Nowlan Park), 2pm.
Allianz HL Round 4: Dublin v Kilkenny (Parnell Park), 5pm.
Allianz HL Round 5: Kilkenny v Waterford (UPMC Nowlan Park), 1.45pm.
Allianz HL semi-finals.
Allianz HL final.
Leinster SHC Round 1: Westmeath v Kilkenny (TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar), 6pm.
Leinster SHC Round 2: Kilkenny v Laois (UPMC Nowlan Park), 5.30pm
Leinster SHC Round 3: Galway v Kilkenny (Pearse Stadium, Salthill), 2pm
Leinster SHC Round 4: Dublin v Kilkenny (Parnell Pk), 6pm
Leinster SHC Round 5: Kilkenny v Wexford (UPMC Nowlan Park), 6pm
All-Ireland Under-20 Hurling final.
Leinster SHC final (Croke Park), 7pm
All-Ireland SHC preliminary qualifiers.
All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals.
All-Ireland SHC semi-finals.
All-Ireland SHC final.
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