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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Count on Kilkenny to continue resurgence on home soil

Michael Mulvihill with his Sunday hurling selections

Kilkenny Manager Brian Cody
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Kilkenny v Tipperary 2pm
Kilkenny welcome Tipperary to Nowlan Park on Sunday afternoon following their first win in their 2018 league campaign on the road to Waterford last weekend.

That win has lifted Kilkenny into a quarter-final spot and Brian Cody will be keen to cement their place with a win over arch-rivals Tipperary.

Tipperary have recovered well from their opening round loss to Clare, and while their six-point winning margin over Wexford last week flattered them, they withstood a strong Wexford backlash in the second half.

The long-awaited comeback of TJ Reid last weekend seems to have ignited this Kilkenny team, as the 2015 Hurler Of The Year hit Waterford for 1-11, with wing-forward Martin Keoghan also pitching in with five points from play.

Tipperary, on the other hand, already without Seamus Callan and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, must also contend with the loss of sharpshooters Jason Forde and John McGrath, who miss out due to Fitzgibbon Cup duty.

Forde has hit 3-28 in the league so far and will be a huge loss to Michael Ryan, with Tipperary not having won at Nowlan Park since 2008.

Kilkenny will be less impacted by the Fitzgibbon Cup, and this game will have been in Brian Cody’s mind for a long time. Expect The Cats to be well primed for the challenge.

Recommendations
Kilkenny
3pts Evs Hills
Kilkenny -3
1pt 17-10 BoyleSports

Wexford v Clare 2pm
Wexford’s bright start to the league hit a speed-bump last weekend, with a six-point loss to Tipperary, but they were in touch for most of that game, and could have been lot closer bar some heroics from Darragh Mooney in the Tipperary goal.

Following their comprehensive win over Cork last Sunday, Clare remain the only team unbeaten in Division 1A, and they will be delighted with their bright start that day, when they led Cork by ten points at half-time.

Both teams have been involved in some of the highest scoring matches so far in the league, so this could well be be a shootout between two teams in top form.

Recommendation
Over 44.5 points
1pt 5-6 Paddy Power


Cork v Waterford 2pm
A slow start and a ten-point halftime deficit was too much for John Meyler’s Cork side to overcome last weekend, but that was the first time Meyler had his full squad together following the Fitzgibbon Cup and the improvement they showed in the second half should follow through to this weekend.

Waterford once again looked poor last weekend, falling to Kilkenny, and they remain rooted to the bottom of 1A. Derek McGrath clearly isn’t worried about retaining a position in Division 1A, and while they have improved with each outing this year, they could struggle against a Cork side with Mark Coleman, Conor Lehane and Alan Cadogan returning to the starting 15.

Recommendation
Cork-Cork double result
1pt 11-10 Paddy Power


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The long-awaited comeback of TJ Reid last weekend seems to have ignited this Kilkenny team
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