A whole new ball game begins for Pat Gilroy this Wednesday evening, when Dublin take on Meath in the Bord na Móna Walsh Cup at Abbottstown.
It will be Gilroy’s first competitive game in charge of Dublin’s hurlers, having previously guided the county footballers to All-Ireland glory in 2011.
His side take on a Meath team that began the new season with a slender 1-17 to 0-19 victory over Antrim in Round 1 of the competition last Saturday.
Dublin, therefore, need at least a draw to stay in contention for a semi-final place ahead of their game against Antrim next Sunday at Parnell Park.
Elsewhere, Laois host Kilkenny at O’Moore Park (with the throw-in changed to 7pm), just four days after opening their campaign with a 1-16 to 0-9 victory over Kildare in Round 1.
And Wexford also get their season underway against Carlow under lights at Hollymount. Ted Joyce scored two early goals for Carlow last Saturday as they easily accounted for Wicklow in Round 1 by 4-18 to 2-11.
Three games will also take place in the Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup this Wednesday evening.
Dublin won the competition in 2017 with an experimental side which included Niall Scully, who broke onto the team which retained the Sam Maguire Cup in September.
They host Offaly at Parnell Park, with the visitors buoyed by a comprehensive first round victory over Wexford at Bord na Mona O’Connor Park, by 3-16 to 0-9.
Louth lost to Longford by 2-13 to 1-10 at Darver last Saturday and so will hope for a better result against Kildare in Hawkfield, while Carlow will hope to make it two wins out of two when they host Meath at Netwatch Cullen Park. Turlough O’Brien’s team beat Wicklow by 3-8 to 0-6 in the first round, so another win will put them through to the semi-finals.
Here’s all the fixtures for Wednesday evening, 3rd January 2018
Bord Na Móna Walsh Cup Round 2
Hollymount: Wexford v Carlow, 8.00pm (Group 1)
O’Moore Pk: Laois v Kilkenny, 7.00pm (Group 2)
Abbotstown: Meath v Dublin, 8.00pm (Group 3)
Bord Na Móna O’Byrne Cup Round 2
Parnell Park: Dublin v Offaly, 8.00pm (Group 1)
Hawkfield: Kildare v Louth, 8.00pm (Group 2)
Netwatch Cullen Pk: Carlow v Meath, 8.00pm (Group 3)
And here’s the fixtures for Sunday, 7th January 2018
Bord Na Móna Walsh Cup Round 3
Bray: Wicklow v Wexford, 2.00pm (Group 1)
Freshford: Kilkenny v Kildare, 2.00pm (Group 2)
Parnell Pk: Dublin v Antrim, 2.00pm (Group 3)
TEG Cusack Pk: Westmeath v Offaly, 2.00pm (Group 4)
Bord Na Móna O’Byrne Cup Round 3
Enniscorthy: Wexford v Dublin, 2.00pm (Group 1)
Glennon Bros Pearse Pk: Longford v Kildare, 2.00pm (Group 2)
Pairc Tailteann, Navan: Meath v Wicklow, 2.00pm (Group 3)
Stradbally: Laois v Westmeath, 2.00pm (Group 4)
RESULTS FROM ROUND 1
Bord Na Móna Walsh Cup
Carlow 4-18, Wicklow 2-10
Laois 1-16, Kildare 0-9
Meath 1-17, Antrim 0-19
Offaly 2-15, Westmeath 1-16
Bord Na Móna O’Byrne Cup
Offaly 3-16, Wexford 0-9
Westmeath 1-13, Laois 1-12
Longford 2-13, Louth 1-10
Carlow 3-8, Wicklow 0-6