Leinster Hurling Championship 2021.
Dublin versus Antrim
26th June 2021. Páirc Tailteann, Navan. 3:00 pm.
Antrim are a newly promoted team, have won the Joe McDonagh Cup in 2020 (2nd tier competition of the All Ireland Championship). Antrim had a very respectable National Hurling League campaign in 2021, beating Clare, and drawing with Wexford.
Dublin actually finished Antrim in the National Hurling Division 1B, but they did beat Antrim in Round 3 of the League. Dublin have the league’s highest scorer in Donal Burke with 1-55 (1 goal from a penalty, 0-40 frees, 0-03 65s) in five matches
Verdict: Dublin to win.
Laois versus Wexford.
26th June 2021. Nowlan Park, Kilkenny. 6:00 pm.
Laois finished bottom of Division 1B of the National Hurling League 2021, and will play a relegation playoff against Westmeath in August. Laois will struggle to capture last year’s form and could be beaten quite comprehensively in the Championship.
Wexford had a decent showing of three wins, a draw and a defeat against Kilkenny in the National Hurling League. Wexford will go through to the semi final.
Verdict. Wexford to win.
Munster Hurling Championship 2021.
Waterford versus Clare.
27th June 2021. Semple Stadium, Thurles. 3:30 pm.
Waterford has a solid National Hurling League 2021, winning three times and losing twice. A heavy loss against Cork on match 1 meant that Waterford finished the National League with a negative score difference. Waterford have been an inconsistent team over the last few years with two All Ireland final defeats sandwiched by two bottom places in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship. Waterford conceded 13 goals in five league matches, which is a poor concession total.
Clare had an uneven National Hurling League losing their first two league matches narrowly, one of them to newly promoted Antrim. Clare won their final league match away to Kilkenny scoring four goals, but Kilkenny had already won the league by that stage.
Verdict. Waterford. I think that Waterford are a better overall team then Clare. Clare are very dependent on their star player Tony Kelly to put up a big total. In hurling, several scorers usually beats one big scorer.
(C). Ferdia O’Mahony 2021.