Wins for Galway and Limerick but disappointment for the likes of Waterford and Tipperary, let’s take a look at the effect the weekend results had on the Pundit Arena hurling rankings:
1) Galway – No Change
Top of the pile for another week, Galway finished their Leinster campaign with a win against Dublin to maintain their 100% win record in the tournament.
The Tribesmen did have to fight for their victory in what was essentially a dead rubber match in Leinster, as two second-half goals gave Dublin a surprise lead, but Galway’s class shone through and they rallied late on to grab a victory.
Kilkenny awaits in the Leinster final, and it’ll take a serious performance from Brian Cody’s men if they are to usurp this red-hot Galway outfit.
2) Limerick – No Change
Another week, another fantastic performance from an ever-improving Limerick side. John Kiely’s men were simply too much for a lacklustre Waterford who they decimated by 13 points on Sunday.
Limerick scored freely throughout and eased their way up the gears with their movement and passing proving far too much for Derek McGrath’s men to cope with.
Within touching distance of their first Munster final in four years, a victory or avoiding a heavy defeat against Clare this weekend will see them over the line.
3) Kilkenny – Up 3
A well-deserved shoot up the rankings this week as Kilkenny booked their place in the Leinster final with a resilient win over Wexford at Nowlan Park.
Despite falling behind early in the first half The Cats’ stamina showed through as, led by the talismanic TJ Reid, they rallied in the second period to come out on top by 0-22 to 1-18
The benefit of the week break really showed as Cody’s men got the victory to set up a final with Galway on July 1st.
4) Clare- Up 4
What a difference a week makes. An absolutely huge victory for The Banner over Tipperary meant that Clare kept their Munster final dreams alive and dashed any hopes Michael Ryan’s men had of championship success this season.
A week off last week meant that Clare had no impact on proceedings but their victory on Sunday means that two out of Limerick, Cork and Clare will contest this season’s Munster final.
A stunning scoring performance from Shane Duggan and a fantastic all-round display from Clare means that The Banner will go into this weekend’s game with Limerick full of confidence.
5) Cork – No Change
No game and no change in the rankings this week for John Meyler’s men, who are in pole position to reach a Munster final should they defeat Waterford this weekend.
The Rebels are still undefeated in the Munster championship with one win and two draws from their three games played and unlike their opponents Waterford, they will actually have something to play for other than pride come the weekend.
6) Wexford – Down 2
A disappointing end to what began as such a promising Leinster campaign for Wexford saw Davy Fitz’ men defeated by Kilkenny in their final decider at Nowlan Park on Sunday.
Wexford who played four games in four weeks suffered from the scheduling of the new championship far more than any other team in Leinster and fell to Kilkenny despite being nine points up early in the game.
The Joe McDonough runner-up awaits Wexford in the qualifiers though so it’s not the end of the world for the yellowbellies, but it does seem like a chance for a first Leinster championship since 2004 ultimately went begging.
7) Dublin – Down 4
A defeat to end what was a promising Leinster campaign for Pat Gilroy and his young Dublin hurlers.
There was a period late in the game when it looked as though Dublin were going to end the season on a high but Galway were simply too strong and defeated Gilroy’s men by 0-26 to 2-19.
Narrow defeats to both Kilkenny and Wexford and a comprehensive thrashing of bottom side Offaly means that there’s plenty of positives going forward for Dublin hurling.
8) Tipperary – Down 1
An absolutely disastrous Munster campaign for Tipperary was rounded off with a defeat to Clare on Sunday as Michael Ryan’s men crash out of the championship in early June.
Last season’s All-Ireland semi-finalist were second best for most of the game at Semple Stadium and finish the Munster championship without a win.
9) Waterford – No Change
How the mighty have fallen. Last year Waterford were on the cusp of winning their first All- Ireland since 1959. This year, the footballers lasted longer than them.
Derek McGrath’s men were soundly defeated by Limerick and face a motivated Cork side in Thurles this weekend.
With one draw and two defeats from their opening three games, Waterford will be hoping that they can end their Munster campaign on somewhat of a high.
Offaly did not play and are finished their season so have not been ranked