We take a look at this weekend’s fixtures in the opening round of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Championship.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship
Saturday June 18th
Clare v Offaly
Referee: Cathal Egan
Clare will be hoping to improve on their National League performance which didn’t see them qualify from the group stages. In last year’s Championship they lost out in the Group 2 play-off match against Dublin and will be hoping to improve on this.
Offaly will be looking to build on last year’s Championship performance. During the league they didn’t make it past the group stages, however, in their last game they defeated Wexford which they will be hoping to continue their winning ways in this year’s campaign.
Waterford v Cork
Referee: John Dolan
After being promoted to Senior from Intermediate, Waterford will be hoping to continue with their winning ways and make a mark on the Senior Championship. During the National League they defeated Derry and will be hoping they can perform well against Cork to start off the season.
Last year’s Champions Cork will be hoping to retain their title. Their National League campaign didn’t bring them much luck with them being knocked out in a play-off match with Limerick. They will be looking to defend their title and will have a spring in their step going into their first game.
Wexford v Limerick
Innovate Wexford Park
Referee: Ray Kelly
Wexford will be hoping to build on a disappointing National League campaign this year. Semi-Finalists in last year’s Championship they lost out to Galway. After being crowned Leinster Champions in recent weeks they will have a spring in their step going into the first round of the Championship.
A young Limerick side had a good National League campaign where they reached the Semi-Finals by defeating current All-Ireland Champions Cork. They will be looking to build on their performances in an attempt to win their first ever Senior Championship. A tough game is ahead of them against Wexford on Saturday.
Derry v Kilkenny
Derry will be looking forward to the Championship, but will need to work hard. During the National League they suffered defeats to the likes of Limerick and Waterford and will have a tough task ahead of them meeting Kilkenny in their opener.
National League Champions Kilkenny will be going into the Championship full of confidence. With game time behind them as well as playing in front of a huge crowd at Semple Stadium which will stand to them. They will be hoping to build on last year where they finished their campaign at the Semi-Final stages.
Galway v Tipperary
Runners-up in the National League this year, Galway will be looking to bounce back and start off as they mean to go on. Finalists in last year’s Championship they will be hoping to make it back there this year and hopefully be lifting the O’Duffy Cup in Croke Park in September, which they last won in 2013.
Tipperary had a good league campaign reaching the Semi-Finals, losing out to eventual winners Kilkenny. With some strong performances they will be full of confidence going into this year’s campaign where they will be hoping to improve on last year where they made it to the Quarter-Finals.
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship
Sunday June 19th
Armagh v Dublin
Referee: Philip McDonald
League Champions Armagh will be going into this year’s campaign hoping to make the step up to Intermediate. With some great victories behind them they will be full of confidence.
Dublin will be looking forward to this year’s Championship after reaching the National League Semi-Final. A tough game will be ahead of them in their opener to Armagh after being knocked out of the National League by them.
Kerry v Roscommon
Austin Stack’s GAA, Tralee
Referee: John Horgan
Kerry will be hoping to get one over on Roscommon after losing out to them in the National League Semi-Final earlier this year. With some good performances behind them they will be looking forward to the season ahead.
Roscommon have performed well this year reaching the National League Final where they lost out to Armagh. They will be hoping to defeat Kerry again in their opening game.
Westmeath v Carlow
The Downs GAA
Referee: Julie O’Neill
Westmeath will be hoping that their Championship campaign gets off to a good start after a poor National League campaign which brought them only one victory against Antrim.
Carlow who had a good National League campaign winning 3 from 4 of their games will be looking forward to their opener against Westmeath where they will be hoping to seal victory.