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Allianz Hurling League Division 1B Preview 2016-03-19 21:18:00

Allianz Hurling League Division 1B Preview

Sunday (2.0): Clare v Limerick, Ennis; Laois v Wexford, Portlaoise; Offaly v Kerry, Birr.

Kerry, travel to Offaly this weekend for their third away game of the League for a game that at the start of the season new manager Ciaran Carey and his management team had pencilled in as a game they would be capable of winning. Realistically, the games against Limerick, Clare and Wexford were all about getting a performance, but having beaten Laois in the opening Round they now must defeat another midland county – and in their own Hurling stronghold of St Brendans Park Birr.

Manager Carey makes three changes in personnel and a number of positional changes from the side went down to Clare in Round 4. Bryan Murphy returns after suspension to the full back line, James O’Connor starts in the half forward line and Jordan Conway comes in at corner forward.

Offaly are just above Kerry in the table on 4 points having surprised Wexford in their own back yard last weekend and no doubt former Kerry manager Eamonn Kelly will be hell bent on gaining a quarter final place by defeating the Kingdom and condemning them to a relegation playoff with Laois. This game is also a dress rehearsal for the Leinster Championship Round Robin game between the two sides in May and we can expect a much improved performance from Kerry for this game.

Both sides will wear their alternative strips with Kerry wearing their 2nd choice Blue Jersies.

Relegation Playoff
2/3 Apr 2016 TBC 5th Team 1B V 6th Team 1B TBC
9 Apr 2016 TBC Losers 1B V 2A Winners TBC

Right from the publication of the 2016 fixtures, promotion from 1B looked likely to be decided on the final day when great rivals, Clare and Limerick met in Ennis. And so it will be! With both having won four games, they head for Cusack Park and a winner-take-all promotion showdown.
Both are already guaranteed a place in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 quarter-finals but getting into 1A is also a huge prize. Clare were relegated from 1A last year while Limerick haven’t been in the top tier since 2010.
The sides last met in the Allianz Hurling League in the 2012 1B final when Clare won by 0-21 to 1-16. The most recent clash between the counties came last May when Limerick won a Munster quarter-final by 1-19 to 2-15 in Thurles.
Limerick have a superior scoring difference to Clare so a draw would be enough for them to secure top spot.
Clare and Limerick will almost certainly be joined in the quarter-finals by Offaly, who are on four points, two ahead of Kerry and Wexford, who are also vying for a quarter-final place. Offaly host Kerry while Wexford will be away to Laois, who have lost all four games so far.

Click Here for League Table (scroll down for Div 1B)

AHL Quarter Finals

2/3 Apr 2016 TBC Top Team 1A V 4th Team 1B TBC 2/3 Apr 2016 TBC 2nd Team 1A V 3rd Team 1B TBC
2/3 Apr 2016 TBC 3rd Team 1A V 2nd Team 1B TBC
2/3 Apr 2016 TBC 4th Team 1A V Top Team 1B TBC
Semi Finals on 17th April, Final 1st May.