AIB Leinster SHC semi-final previews
CUALA (Dublin) v St MARTIN’S (Wexford) – Parnell Park (2.0)
The remarkable run of success being enjoyed by the Dublin champions continues with the win over Kilkenny’s Dicksboro their latest in a line of big scalps.
With three Dublin, a Leinster and All-Ireland crown in their haul, Mattie Kenny’s team are the men of the moment and it was their ferocious tackling and work rate which was the key to their win over the Kilkenny champions.
For young, players Paul Schutte and Cian O’Callaghan have loads of big game experience at the back, Daithí O’Connell is an engine in the middle and up front they have the finishing power and class of David Treacy and Con O’Callaghan.
St Martin’s are starting their Leinster journey after a great season that saw them reach both county finals this year in the Model County, capturing the hurling title after a long absence.
Parnell Park always plays as a tight field and how they handle that and the tough tackling Cuala will be crucial.
Ciaran Lyng, Daithí Waters and Rory O’Connor can play a prominent role and they are capable of asking questions of the champions.
KILCORMAC KILLOUGHEY (Offaly) v Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow) – Bord na Móna O’Connor Park (2.0)
Two clubs back in the big time and looking to rekindle past glories, there is little between this pair.
Mount Leinster Rangers found the going tough against 14 man Camross and only pulled away in the dying minutes.
They’ll have had time to address this and plot another provincial campaign but will need to be on their game against an Offaly side who have massive Leinster experience from being three in a row Offaly champions earlier this decade and who have an influential hurler in Dan Currams.
It was in 2014 that MLR enjoyed the fairytale run to the AIB All-Ireland Club final and in doing so became an inspiration to many.
The last time they enjoyed those heights it was a win over Kilcormac Killoughey that propelled them and who knows it could have a similar impact if they clear this hurdle.