And then there were ten. The departure of Antrim and Laois last weekend cuts the field for the GAA hurling All-Ireland senior championships to ten as the season enters July, a month that will see the Leinster and Munster champions crowned as well as eliminating six more counties.
Two will have their participation in this year’s championship ended next Saturday when All-Ireland champions, Clare host Wexford in Cusack Park, Ennis (3.30) and Tipperary play Galway in Semple Stadium, Thurles (7.0).
The big action on Sunday will be in Croke Park (4.0) when Dublin attempt to retain the Leinster title against Kilkenny who are seeking to win the crown for the first time since 2011.
DUBLIN v KILKENNY
They meet for the seventh time in six seasons in the Leinster championship, with Kilkenny winning four to Dublin’s one, with one draw, from their previous six meetings. Dublin’s big breakthrough came last year when they beat Kilkenny in a Leinster semi-final replay in Portlaoise. It was Dublin’s first championship win over Kilkenny since 1942 and paved the way for a first Leinster title success since 1961 when Anthony Daly’s men beat Galway in the final.
Dublin are seeking to retain the Leinster title for the first time since winning the double in 1941-42 while Kilkenny are seeking their 14th title in 17 seasons, having lost out it 2004-2012-2013. The sides met in the Allianz League in Parnell Park in mid-March when Dublin won by 1-22 to 3-13.
Dublin led by 1-16 to 1-6 at the interval after playing with the wind before a Kilkenny rally cut the margin to three points. Dublin held on for a win in a game where Danny Sutcliffe scored 1-5 from open play.
Last Five Championship Clashes
2013: Dublin 1-16 Kilkenny 0-16 (Leinster semi-final replay)
2013: Kilkenny 1-14 Dublin 0-17 (Leinster semi-final)
2012: Kilkenny 2-21 Dublin 0-9 (Leinster semi-final)
2011: Kilkenny 4-17 Dublin 1-15 (Leinster final)
2010: Kilkenny 4-19 Dublin 0-12 (Leinster semi-final)