Hurlers in scramble to try qualify for NHL quarter-finals 18/03/2014
Clare (Division 1A), Cork, Limerick, Wexford and Laois (1B) are through to the quarter-finals of the Allianz Hurling League with one round of group games to come next Sunday.
That leaves Galway, Kilkenny, Dublin, Waterford and Tipperary from Division 1A battling it out for the three remaining quarter-final places. The quarter-finals will be played on Sunday week as follows: Top 1A v 4th 1B; 2nd 1A v 3rd 1B; 3rd1A v 2nd 1B; 4th 1A v Top 1B. Venues will be decided as follows: a county which had two home games in the group section will have home advantage; if both teams had two or three home games in 1A/1B, a draw will be made to decide on home advantage.
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION 1A: THREE BID TO JOIN CLARE IN QUARTER-FINALS
Sunday (2.0): Tipperary v Dublin, Thurles; Kilkenny v Waterford, Nowlan Park; Clare v Galway, Ennis.
Who will join Clare to make up the group’s four-way representation in the quarter-finals? The answer will emerge on Sunday when the final round of games is played in Thurles, Nowlan Park and Ennis.
Galway (+7pts scoring difference), Kilkenny (+3), Dublin (-7), Waterford (-7) are all on four points with Tipperary (-13) on two points. Tipperary have to beat Dublin to have any chance of escaping from the relegation play-off (bottom two meet to decide who drops to 1B) but even if they win, they could still find themselves in the shoot-out, depending on scoring difference and other results. However, Tipperary could still make the quarter-finals if they win and other results go their way. A Dublin win would almost certain secure a quarter-final place for Anthony Daly’s men but if they lose they too could be in relegation trouble.
Clare will definitely top the group if they draw or win against Galway and, depending on other results, could still finish No.1 on scoring difference even if they lose to Anthony Cunningham’s men. A draw would be enough to make sure that Galway reaches the quarter-finals but they could still make it, even if they lose. Clare beat Galway in the Allianz League (1-18 to 2-13) and All-Ireland quarter-final championship (1-23 to 2-14) last year.
A quarter-final place will also be on the agenda when Kilkenny host Waterford in Nowlan Park. Kilkenny have a 12 points superior scoring difference, which could prove significant. The losers could be in relegation trouble.
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION 1B: CORK IN DRVING SEAT FOR PROMOTION PLACE
Sunday (2.0): Laois v Limerick, Portlaoise; Offaly v Antrim, Tullamore; Cork v Wexford, Pairc Ui Rinn.
Cork, Limerick, Wexford and Laois are already through to the quarter-finals while either Offaly or Antrim will be relegated. However, next Sunday’s final round of games is very important as it will decide who wins promotion to 1A. Cork (6pts) are best placed as they are a point ahead of Limerick and Wexford, with Laois in fourth place on four points.
If Cork beat Wexford on Sunday, they will definitely be promoted but if Wexford win, it will be between themselves and Limerick for promotion. Limerick conceded a late point against Offaly on Sunday which brought the sides level and handed Cork, who beat Antrim, a crucial led at the top of the table. Cork were relegated last year but are now well-placed for a quick return to 1A.
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION 2A: CARLOW AND KERRY TO CONTEST FINAL
Sunday (2.0): Carlow v Westmeath, Dr. Cullen Park; London v Kerry, Ruislip; Kildare v Derry, Newbridge.
With one round remaining, the main issues have already been decided. Kerry (8pts) and Carlow (6pts) will contest the final. The winner of that game will play the losers of the 1B relegation play-off to decide placings for next season. Derry (4pts) could still catch Carlow but since John Meyler’s men won the head-to-head contest, they would finish ahead of the Ulstermen. Kildare will finish bottom and be relegated.
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION 2B: DOWN, MEATH IN TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH
Sunday: Down v Meath, Ballycran; Wicklow v Fingal, Arklow; Armagh v Mayo Castlebar, Athletic Grounds.
It’s 1 v 2 in Ballycran when Down (8 pts) take on Meath (6pts). Wicklow (6pts) are also in the promotion hunt as they prepare to host Fingal.
Armagh (0), Fingal (2) and Mayo (2) are in the relegation mix.
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION 3A: FOUR REMAIN IN PROMOTION HUNT
Sunday (2.0): Roscommon v Longford, Athleague; Monaghan v Fermanagh, Clones; Louth v Donegal, Darver
Roscommon (6), Donegal (6), Monaghan (4), Fermanagh (4) are all in the promotion hunt while Louth (2) and Longford (2) need to win on Sunday to have any chance of avoiding a relegation play-off.
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION 3B: THREE-WAY BID FOR FINAL PLACES
Sunday (2.0): Leitrim v Warwickshire, Ballinamore; Sligo v Tyrone, Markievicz Park.
Tyrone (4pts), Leitrim and Warwickshire (2 each) are challenging for a place in the final but Sligo are out of contention.
2014 ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE: RESULTS AND FIXTURES
Allianz League Division 1A
Round 1: Tipperary 2-13 Waterford 0-16; Clare 1-16 Kilkenny 0-18; Galway 0-28 Dublin 1-12.
Round 2: Kilkenny 5-20 Tipperary 5-14; Dublin 2-17 Clare 0-17; Waterford 0-22 Galway 1-13.
Round 3: Kilkenny 2-16 Galway 1-16 Clare 4-15 Tipperary 0-20; Waterford 1-13 Dublin 1-10.
Round 4: Dublin 1-22 Kilkenny 3-13; Clare 5-18 Waterford 0-20 Galway 3-16 Tipperary 1-19.
Round 5 (March 23): Tipperary v Dublin; Kilkenny v Waterford; Clare v Galway.
Allianz League Division 1B
Round 1: Cork 0-17 Limerick 0-17; Laois 1-19 Offaly 2-14; Wexford 0-15 Antrim 1-11.
Round 2: Cork 0-14 Laois 0-7; Wexford 2-19 Offaly 2-13; Limerick 3-26 Antrim 0-12.
Round 3: Limerick 1-14 Wexford 2-8; Laois 2-21 Antrim 1-21; Cork 1-24 Offaly 1-18.
Round 4: Offaly 2-15 Limerick 2-15; Cork 0-18 Antrim 1-12; Wexford 2-21 Laois 1-18.
Round 5 (March 23): Cork v Wexford; Laois v Limerick; Offaly v Antrim.
Allianz League Play-offs
March 23: Quarter-finals: Top 1A v 4th 1B; 2nd 1A v 3rd 1B; 3rd 1A v 2nd 1B; 4th 1A v Top 1B.
1A: Relegation play-off: 5th v 6th.
April 20: Semi-finals
May 4: Final
Allianz League Division 2A
Round 1: Kerry 4-24 Derry 3-8; Carlow 1-18 Kildare 1-9; Westmeath 0-13 London 0-13.
Round 2: Carlow 2-12 London 0-8; Kerry 2-24 Kildare 0-13; Derry 3-11 Westmeath 0-8.
Round 3: Kerry 3-13 Westmeath 2-15; London 1-21 Kildare 0-18; Carlow 2-20 Derry 0-12.
Round 4: Derry 1-13 London 0-10; Westmeath 3-11 Kildare 1-14; Kerry 3-13 Carlow 0-17.
Round 5 (March 23): London v Kerry; Carlow v Westmeath; Kildare v Derry.
April 5: Final: 1st v 2nd
Allianz League Division 2B:
Round 1: Mayo 2-13 Fingal 3-9; Down 2-20 Armagh 1-7; Wicklow 1-15 Meath 0-8.
Round 2: Down 1-15 Wicklow 0-10; Meath 0-12 Mayo 0-7; Fingal 2-18 Armagh 2-13.
Round 3: Wicklow 2-14 Armagh 0-15; Meath 5-22 Fingal 1-7; Down 0-17 Mayo 0-13.
Round 4: Wicklow 0-16 Mayo 0-9; Down 4-19 Fingal 2-10; Meath 1-21 Armagh 3-9.
Round 5 (March 23): Wicklow v Fingal; Down v Meath; Armagh v Mayo.
Relegation play-off (March 30): 5th v 6th
Final: (April 5): 1st v 2nd
Allianz League Division 3A
Round 1: Roscommon 2-16 Louth 1-15; Donegal 2-19 Fermanagh 1-13; Longford 3-11 Monaghan 2-13.
Round 2: Fermanagh 5-13 Louth 2-12; Monaghan 1-12 Roscommon 1-8 Donegal 1-20 Longford 3-9.
Round 3: Monaghan 0-15 Louth 1-11; Fermanagh 2-8 Longford 0-13; Roscommon 3-11 Donegal 0-15.
Round 4: Louth 3-11 Longford 1-10; Roscommon 4-20 Fermanagh 0-10; Donegal 3-16 Monaghan 1-7.
Round 5 (March 23): Monaghan v Fermanagh; Roscommon v Longford; Louth v Donegal.
Final (April 5): 1st v 2nd
Allianz League Division 3B
Round 1: Warwickshire 0-12 Sligo 2-5; Tyrone 0-14 Leitrim 1-7.
Round 2: Tyrone 4-13 Warwickshire 1-15; March 16: Leitrim 2-11 Sligo 2-9.
Round 3 (March 23): Leitrim v Warwickshire; Sligo v Tyrone.
Final: April 5: 1st v 2nd