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Explainer: Where the Munster hurling championship stands after today's games

A combination from Cork, Clare and Limerick will contest the final.

Cork, Clare and Limerick are the three Munster sides still left in the hurling championship.
Cork, Clare and Limerick are the three Munster sides still left in the hurling championship.
Image: INPHO

WITH ROUND 4 of the Munster senior hurling championship completed today, the identity of the three teams from the province who will progress to the All-Ireland series has been revealed.

Cork, Clare and Limerick all still have an interest in the 2018 championship but Waterford and Tipperary have made their exit after they suffered defeats at the Gaelic Grounds and Semple Stadium respectively.

Limerick top the table with five points, Cork and Clare are on four points each with Tipperary on two points and Waterford on a single point. Tipperary have now completed their sequences of games and are eliminated while Waterford cannot overhaul any of the top three despite having one last game to play when they will take on Cork next Sunday.

Next Sunday’s action in Thurles and Ennis will determine who will contest the Munster final on 1 July. Cork play Waterford in Semple Stadium at 2pm, the same throw-in time as Clare against Limerick in Cusack Park.

Here is what’s needed for the three possible final pairings.

Cork v Limerick

If both Limerick and Cork win they will meet each other in the Munster final. It will be a similar outcome if Limerick win and Cork draw or if Limerick draw and Cork win.

If Limerick and Waterford win, it will be a Limerick v Cork final as Cork will see off Clare in the head-to-head record. If there are draws in both matches, it will also be a meeting between the teams managed by John Kiely and John Meyler, again due to Cork’s earlier win over Clare.

Cork v Clare

Victories for Clare and Cork will set up a repeat of last July’s Munster final between the counties. A Clare win and a Cork draw could also set up a Cork-Clare final but it would need Limerick to suffer a heavy defeat as the current scoring difference has Limerick (+19) having an edge over Cork (+5).

Clare v Limerick

If Clare and Waterford win, it will be a Clare v Limerick final. If it’s a draw between Clare and Limerick, coupled with a Waterford victory, they’ll also meet in the decider. Finally a Clare win and a Cork draw could also mean a Limerick-Clare final if Limerick’s scoring difference remains superior.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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