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Michael Duignan: Waterford can beat Cork in the Munster SHC quarter-final replay

Updated: Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 15:14 | Comments

Cork and Waterford will battle it out for the right to meet Clare in the Munster semi
Cork and Waterford will battle it out for the right to meet Clare in the Munster semi

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The Munster Hurling Championship has served up two cracking games so far – and two unexpected results.

Last Sunday, Limerick finished strongly to surprise Tipperary at Semple Stadium. A week previous, Cork played catch up for most of their clash with a Waterford side that many thought would struggle.

Pat Horgan’s close-range free at the death secured parity for the Rebels.

The replay today (live on RTÉ.ie/sport, worldwide, 3.30pm) is back at the birthplace of the GAA. The common consensus is that Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side will be too good for the Déise at the second attempt.

However, that’s not the way Michael Duignan sees it.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “We were all saying after the replay that Cork will improve more. They have a lot of scoring threats up front.

"You’d expect Seamus Harnedy and Conor Lehane to be more prominent and offer better support to Alan Cadogan and Pat Horgan than they did the last day.

"I still think there are a few question marks over their defence, however.

"Waterford have Shane O’Sullivan and Shane Fives back in the team which will strengthen them. If they can retain possession a bit better and avoid the silly wides they hit in the first half of the drawn game, I think they can cause a surprise. I’m going for a narrow Waterford win."

Saturday evening sees Kilkenny take on Offaly at Nowlan Park in the Leinster SHC quarter-final. Not surprisingly, Duignan is going for a home victory.

“Kilkenny are missing a couple of players through injury, but the side selected is very strong

“Offaly have four newcomers. If you’re looking to sum up the match, Niall Wynn and Barry Harding make up the right side of the Offaly defence in their first championship game.

Their direct opponents are TJ Reid and Eoin Larkin – lads with numerous All-Ireland medals. That's the gulf that’s there.

“Kilkenny will win comfortably. In Offaly, we’ll be looking for some bright signs for the future.”

Also on Saturday, Croke Park is the venue for the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cup finals and the two-time All-Ireland winner with Offaly picks his winners.

Christy Ring – Kerry v Kildare

“I expect Kerry to win. Eamon Kelly from Tipperary is doing great work with them and the Brendan Cummins in as goalkeeping coach.

Nicky Rackard - Fingal v Tyrone

“Tyrone have been scoring freely in the campaign so far and I expect them to prevail.”

Lory Meagher - Longford v Fermanagh

"These sides drew in the last round of matches, so there is nothing between them. Longford have been putting in a lot of work in the couple of years. I think that might pay off." 

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