GAA hurling preview, team news and tips for Sunday's National League fixtures
Expect Wexford's game plan to work this time
Cork v Wexford
Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 3pm Sunday
Cork and Wexford both suffered opening-round defeats so both managers will be keen to bounce back before they get left at the bottom of Division 1A.
Cork had the unenviable task of travelling to Nowlan Park last week but even by opening-round standards their performance lacked spark.
John Meyler has many of his stars in Fitzgibbon Cup action, but he will still be disappointed with their first league performance. Although Cork were poor in the 2018 league before a strong championship campaign, Meyler will be hoping for a strong reaction on home soil.
Wexford also had a tough opener against the All-Ireland champions at Wexford Park and although their hurling was messy at times, they showed great resolve to fight their way back into the game and push Limerick right to the wire.
The dismissal of full-back Liam Ryan in the first half, along with Limerick’s Seamus Flanagan, left acres of space in the Wexford defence and they struggled to contain a dangerous Limerick forward line as a result.
Wexford are likely to opt for a sweeper again but the better conditions should suit them and may allow their game plan to work more effectively.
Wexford tried to use the ball intelligently but too often their skill level wasn’t up to it and that may have been down to the conditions.
If Wexford can bring the same fight they showed in the second half, they may be capable of causing an upset.
2pts Evens general
Clare v Kilkenny
Cusack Park, 2pm Sunday
Clare will hope to bounce back to winning ways on home soil after a disappointing loss to Tipperary, but they face a Kilkenny side full of confidence.
Clare will have taken positives from that loss, however, as they were within touching distance of Tipperary until Tony Kelly’s harsh red card in the second half. Kelly’s suspension has been upheld so Clare will be without their star man.
The Cats had an extremely positive start to the league, easily dispatching a poor Cork side. Brian Cody’s ability to bring through young talent seamlessly each year is astounding and he seems to have found another gem in fullback Huw Lawlor.
Cody is also without the Ballyhale contingent, including TJ Reid, but that didn't hamper them last weekend with Kevin Kelly taking over free-taking duties. Richie Leahy, who scored a goal off the bench last weekend, takes a starting spot.
Clare look the team to beat. Their home form in recent seasons has been solid and teams seem to struggle with the tight confines of Cusack Park.
Colin Guilfoyle has been the find for Clare over the winter months. The Newmarket-on-Fergus man has been in scintillating form and looked dangerous partnering John Conlon in the full-forward line.
Guilfoyle failed to get on the scoresheet last weekend, but he won a penalty and scored 1-3 for Mary I in midweek Fitzgibbon Cup action.
Clare withdrew many of their forwards last weekend and ended up playing into Tipperary’s hands, but on home soil they should make much better use of their attack and overcome the Cats.
2pts 10-11 BoyleSports
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