The All-Ireland Hurling championship is an annual inter-county hurling tournament  organized by the Gaelic Athletic Association. It is considered as the top hurling event in Ireland and oncer ranked by CNN as #2 in the Top 10 sporting events “that you have to see live”, finishing behind the Olympic Games.

“Trophy" Tournament Format

The tournament has always been played using the knockout system so that when a team loses, it is already eliminated from the tournament. Qualification for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships is limited to teams participating in the Leinster Championship, the Munster Championship and the two teams that play in the championship game of the Joe McDonagh Cup.

Twelve teams currently participate in the All-Ireland Hurling Championship. The Leinster and Munster third placers play Joe McDonagh finalists in the preliminary quarter-finals. The two winners of the preliminary quarter finals will then play the Leinster and Munster second placers in the quarter-finals with the winners advancing to play the Leinster and Munster champions in the semifinals. The winners of the semis will go on to play in the finals and for the Liam McCarthy Cup.

“Trophy" Liam McCarthy Cup

The Liam McCarthy Cup commemorates the memory of its namesake who in 1922 presented the GAA with  £500 to commission a cup for the winners of the All-Ireland Hurling championship. The cup looked like a medieval Irish drinking vessel called a mather and  was made by Jeweller Edmund Johnson. The Cup was first presented to Bob McConkey of Limerick in 1923. Tipperary’s David Carr was the last recipient of the Cup before it was retired and now on display at the GAA museum. The current Liam McCarthy Cup is now a replica made by JMK Gold & Silversmiths and first presented to Kilkenny in 1992.

A total of 13 teams have won the All-Ireland Hurling Championship since its inception in 1887. The Big Three composed of Kilkenny, Cork and Tipperary have won the title a total of 93 times combined. Kilkenny has won the All-Ireland a record 36 times,  Last year, Limerick won the title and they are once again the top hurling betting favorites to win this year.

“Trophy" The Favorites

Here are the odds to win the All-Ireland Hurling Championship. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/12/19:

Team Odds
Limerick +110
Tipperary +187
Cork +600
Wexford +750
Kilkenny +1100
Laois +8000

Limerick lifted the Munster crown with a 12-point win over Tipperary last month. The victory was Declan Hannon’s third silverware in the last 10 months. Tipperary won the All-Ireland title last August and followed that up with the league title this past March. Limerick was second behind Tipperary in the Munster standings with 2 wins and 2 losses, including a 4-point defeat to Tipperary in Round 5. But they came up big when needed.

Tipperary played a perfect round at the Munster by going undefeated in four games. However, they lost to Limerick in the Munster finals and will now take on Laois in the quarterfinals. If Tipperary wins their quarterfinal assignment, they will advance to face Wexford in the semifinals and hope to avenge their Munster loss to Limerick in the final.

Cork finished third in the Munster and advanced to the preliminary quarterfinals where they faced Westmeath last July 7th. After winning that match, they are now booked to take on Kilkenny in the quarterfinals. Should they win again, Limerick will be waiting for them in the semifinals.

Wexford ended a 15-year drought to take the 2019 Leinster Senior Hurling championship. Wexford defeated Kilkenny 1-23 to 0-23 to take home the Bob O’Keeffe Cup and book an automatic entry to the semifinals of the All-Ireland. Wexford now awaits the winner of the July 14th quarterfinals match between Tipperary and Laois.

Kilkenny topped the Leinster standings but lost to Wexford in the final. It was a closely fought contest which Wexford won on a late goal from a penalty. As it stands now, a  shootout is expected as they will take on Cork in a knockout quarterfinal match at Croke Park with the winner earning a spot in the semifinals against waiting Limerick.

Laois is the outsider here as they are making a trip to the quarterfinals after topping the Joe McDonagh Cup standings with 7 points. Laois defeated Leinster third-placed team Dublin in the preliminary quarterfinals and will have a tough task ahead of them against Tipperary.

“Trophy" Who Wins?

Despite losing the Munster final, the resurrection of Tipperary under Liam Sheedy is still impressive. However, with the injuries suffered by Bonner Maher and Cathal Barrett, there are concerns on whether they can go all the way. Wexford looks like they are peaking at the right time and are playing good defense and have shown a solid attack. They are the only unbeaten Tier 1 team left in the competition. But can they beat their Munster rivals?

Limerick’s impressive Munster final performance against Tipperary makes them a solid favorite to win the All-Ireland again this year. It’s been a highly successful last 10 months for John Kiely’s side and with momentum with them, they might just go all the way again. Their defense has been impressive and we saw how they contained Tipperary’s sharpshooters. No question, the target is on their backs but that doesn’t appear to be a problem. Prediction: Limerick

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