Oct 28th: Quarter-final – Kilmallock (Limerick) v Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary), Kilmallock.
Nov 11th: Semi-finals – Kilmallock (Limerick)/Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary) v Sarsfields (Cork), Cork/Tipperary venue; Cratloe (Clare)/Newmarket-on-Fergus (Clare) v De La Salle (Waterford), Clare venue.
Nov 25th: Final
CLARE – Newmarket-on-Fergus
How have they reached this stage? Newmarket-on-Fergus got the better of Cratloe by 3-10 to 0-9 in the Clare final to win their 23rd county title and first since 1981.
What’s their track record at this level? Newmarket-on-Fergus have a track record in winning Munster titles in 1967 and 1968 while they lost finals in 1973, 1974 and 1978. But this will be their first provincial campaign in 31 years.
Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? The Newmarket-on-Fergus trio of James McInerney, Enda Barrett and Colin Ryan all lined out for Davy Fitzgerald’s senior county outfit this summer.
Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Niall O’Connor, who was full-back on last year’s Clare Munster minor winning team, has impressed at half-back this year.
Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Bob Enright is the coach of Newmarket-on-Fergus while former Tipperary All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy has been involved in the backroom setup on an advisory basis.
The odds on a title win? Newmarket-on-Fergus are priced at 15/2 and their semi-final assignment will be difficult given how strong De La Salle have competed in recent years.
CORK – Sarsfields
How have they reached this stage? A 54th minute goal by Robert O’Driscoll proved critical in propelling Sarsfields to their third Cork SHC title in five years earlier this month as they defeated Bishopstown by 1-15 to 1-13.
What’s their track record at this level? Sarsfields have bowed out at the semi-final stage twice against De La Salle in recent years. In 2008 they lost out by 0-18 to 0-16 and in 2010 were defeated by 0-22 to 2-15 after extra-time.
Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Cian McCarthy, Conor O’Sullivan and Daniel Kearney were all involved with the Cork senior squad this year while Eanna Martin and Eoin Quigley featured for Liam Dunne’s Wexford senior setup.
Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Wing-back Daniel Roche, a member of last year’s county U21 team, has been a consistent presence in defence.
Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Club stalwart and 1999 Cork All-Ireland winner Pat Ryan is at the helm. Ryan was part of the Sarsfields teams who won the county titles in 2008 and 2010.
The odds on a title win? Sarsfields are third favourites at 10/3 and in a highly competitive province they will be eager at least to reach their first final at this level.
LIMERICK – Kilmallock
How have they reached this stage? For the second time in three years it is Kilmallock who were crowned kingpins in Limerick with a 1-15 to 0-15 success in their recent final against Adare as Jake Mulcahy pounced for the crucial second-half goal.
What’s their track record at this level? Kilmallock were crowned Munster champions in 1992 and 1994 while two years ago they lost out by five points in the provincial opener against Thurles Sarsfields.
Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Gavin O’Mahony, Paudie O’Brien and Graeme Mulcahy all started in Limerick’s All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Kilkenny in July.
Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Jake Mulcahy, younger brother of Graeme and an All-Ireland Fresher hurling winner with UCC last March, has caught the eye and fired home that crucial goal in the county final.
Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Tony Considine, the former Clare manager, steered Kilmallock to their second Limerick title in three years recently and previously won a county crown with Garryspillane in 2005.
The odds on a title win? Kilmallock are priced at 7/1 and face a difficult route to the final.
Kilmallock’s Eoin Ryan with Padraic Maher and Pa Bourke of Thurles Sarsfields. Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan
TIPPERARY – Thurles Sarsfields
How have they reached this stage? For the third time in four years, Thurles Sarsfields lifted the Dan Breen Cup recently by virtue of a 1-21 to 2-15 final victory over Drom-Inch.
What’s their track record at this level? Thurles Sarsfields are still searching for their first provincial senior crown. They came close two years ago but lost the final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh to De La Salle by 0-10 to 0-8.
Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Padraic Maher, Michael Cahill, Pa Bourke and Lar Corbett all lined out for the Tipperary team that were ousted in the All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny in August.
Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Aidan McCormack, who came on as a substitute for Tipperary in the Munster U21 final in August, was in lethal form in the recent county final as he struck 1-6 from corner-forward.
Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Seamus Quinn is the Thurles Sarsfields manager while Gary Mernagh is the team’s coach.
The odds on a title win? At 2/1 Thurles Sarsfields are second favourites to claim the silverware.
WATERFORD – De La Salle
How have they reached this stage? With a comfortable 1-21 to 0-12 final win over Dungarvan, De La Salle achieved their third Waterford crown in five years recently.
What’s their track record at this level? De La Salle have prospered on the provincial stage as they won the 2008 and 2010 Munster titles before losing out in the 2009 All-Ireland final to Portumna and the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final to Clarinbridge.
Any inter-county stars of note on the pitch? Stephen Daniels, Kevin Moran and John Mullane were fixtures in the Waterford senior hurling side this year while Steven Brenner, Brian Phelan and Jack Kennedy are all former county seniors.
Which young gun should we keep an eye on? Jake Dillon has been on the scene for a while but this is his first year out of the minor ranks and his 1-5 haul in the county final exemplifies the talent that he possesses.
Who’s calling the shots on the sideline? Derek McGrath is in the hotseat and he has forged a fine reputation in managing the De La Salle school teams to win All-Ireland colleges titles in 2007 and 2008.
The odds on a title win? The Waterford side are the favourites to lift the provincial title at 15/8.