Ballygunner and Tallow meet in a repeat of last year’s quarter-final in the second of Sunday’s games at Fraher Field.
When the two squared up last year the western side ran out winners on a 1-10 to 1-8 scoreline and would love a repeat result.
The “Gunners” are in a bit of a transitional phase, with many of the players that won county senior hurling medals in the period since the early 1990s now either retired or are coming to the end of their careers at the top level.
They have some very good young players coming through, but it would be expecting them to peak at such an early age. Last year a number of these players played in the Minor County final replay defeat to Mount Sion and have also played on the successful De La Salle College sides in recent years, but it’s a big step up.
Waterford midfielder Shane O’Sullivan could prove to be the key member of Ger Cunningham’s side. In the National Hurling League he has been very consistent and the former Cork netminder will be hoping that he carries this form into the club championship.
Shane Power could also have a big year ahead of him with Ballygunner, and with master free-taker Paul Flynn approaching the final stages of his career a lot will rest on the shoulders of Power in the years ahead.
They will also be looking to the likes of Alan Kirwan, Wayne Hutchinson, Tommy Power and young Philip Mahony if they are to improve on last year’s showing.
Hurling in Tallow is like a religion and they will be hoping to improve this season, having lost out to De La Salle at the semi-final stages in 2008
Tallow could prove to be one of the hardest teams to break down. James Murray, David O’Brien and Kieran Geary could form a formidable half-back line, and behind them Aidan Kearney and Mark O’Brien will be fighting it out for the No3 shirt, with one or the other playing in the corner.
Paul O’Brien and Paul Murray are likely to start at centre-field and in attack much will rest on the shoulders of Thomas Ryan who has been given a number of outings with the county seniors in recent weeks, and who could prove to be Tallow’s leading marksman.