Cork and Clare renew their rivalry in Sunday’s Munster hurling semi-final and Michael Duignan is tipping the Rebels to reach a successive provincial decider.
Last year Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s men eased past the Banner challenge by 0-23 to 0-15 at the last-four stage – the first part of a trilogy that spawned two glorious sequels.
Cork have already seen action in this year’s campaign. They were off the pace for much of the drawn clash with Waterford, before upping the tempo considerably in the replay and running out convincing winners.
Duignan believes that both games will stand to Cork at Semple Stadium. Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “I think the two games against Waterford will help Cork. The manner in which they blew Waterford away was most impressive.
“Clare are coming in for their first game. You can’t underestimate them; they are All-Ireland champions and they have good U-21s to come in to the set up.
"The manner in which they [Cork] blew Waterford away was most impressive" - Michael Duignan
“Clare will have a big say in the All-Ireland race and I tip them to win it again. Cork’s two games will stand to them and I think they’ll just shade it on Sunday.
Another hurling contest to look forward to is the meeting of Wexford and Dublin in the Leinster hurling semi-final on Saturday evening and Duignan is expecting another tight contest at Wexford Park.
“It’s no secret that Wexford are the most rapidly improved team in the country,” said Duignan.
“They beat Kilkenny in the U-21 championship for the second year in a row and with home support they’re going to be difficult to beat.
“This is a huge year for Dublin after their Leinster success last season. They won a league before that. All that’s left now is an All-Ireland and, that’s what Dublin with Anthony Daly in his sixth year in charge, will be driving for.
"If they have aspirations to do that they’ll be expected to go to Wexford Park and win.
"I think it will be tight on Saturday evening. Dublin’s experience to shade it."