SATURDAY 12 JULY
Clare v Kilkenny, Cusack Park, Ennis, 2.30pm
The sides last met in the Irish Daily Star League final, a game which Kilkenny won comfortably by 1-15 to 0-4, and Colm Honan’s charges failed to fire on the day.
Clare missed crucial chances early on and lost the influential Eimear Considine to injury, factors which upset the League final debutantes.
Saturday’s tie should be an entirely different affair with the Munster outfit gaining invaluable experience from their league final foray and also relishing another crack at an unbeaten Kilkenny side.
Eimear Considine returns as does Chloe Morey, while Fiona Lafferty, Deirdre Murphy and Claire McMahon are key players up front.
However, it’s the Clare rearguard that will need to be on top of their game against a much vaunted Kilkenny attack who have registered a total of 58 points over the course of two games.
Katie Power in full forward, Aoife Neary in the corner and the influential Ann Dalton at midfield are a trio who stand out, in a well-balanced side.
Tipperary v Offaly, The Ragg, 2.30pm
Both sides enter this tie with it all to play for.
Offaly desperately need a win in order to keep their quarter-final place aspirations alive, while for Tipperary the prospect of a play-off place is very much alive provided they collect two points this week and other upcoming results go their way.
The Faithful County will have been disappointed with their slow start against Clare, eventually losing by two points, and will know that a repeat performance won’t suffice this weekend. Elaine Dermody, Michaela Morkan and Tina Hannon are three key players.
Tipperary will look to captain Sabrina Larkin at full forward, Cait Devane at wing-forward and centre back Caoimhe Maher to lead the way against a strong Offaly unit.