THE LEINSTER, MUNSTER and Joe McDonagh Cup round-robin series concluded at the weekend to cut the number of contenders for this year’s All-Ireland senior hurling title down to eight.

Carlow and Waterford had already been ruled out of the reckoning in Leinster and Munster respectively prior to the weekend’s action. The last round of provincial ties saw 2017 All-Ireland champions Galway and last summer’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Clare bow out.

The close of the Joe McDonagh Cup put Laois and Westmeath into the decider ahead of Antrim, Kerry and Offaly.

It makes the picture a bit clearer for the remainder of the 2019 championship. Sunday 30 June will see Kilkenny face Wexford in pursuit of Leinster honours, Limerick take on Tipperary in the Munster decider and Laois meet Westmeath in the Joe McDonagh Cup final.

Both Laois and Westmeath will be out the following weekend in preliminary All-Ireland quarter-finals against Cork or Dublin.

The winner of that game involving Cork will meet the beaten Leinster finalists with the victors of Dublin’s match set to face the beaten Munster finalists.

After those quarter-final ties on the weekend of 13-14 July, the semi-finals are pencilled in for 27-28 July and then the All-Ireland decider on Sunday 18 August.

Here’s the set of fixtures to watch out for.

2019 All-Ireland SHC

Sunday 30 June

Joe McDonagh Cup final: Laois v Westmeath, Croke Park, 1.45pm

Munster SHC final: Limerick v Tipperary, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 2pm

Leinster SHC final: Kilkenny v Wexford, Croke Park, 4pm

Weekend 6/7 July

All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-finals

Dublin v Winners of Westmeath v Laois

Cork v Losers of Westmeath v Laois

Weekend 13/14 July

All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals

Runner-Up Kilkenny/Wexford v Cork/Runner-Up Joe McDonagh Cup

Runner-Up Limerick/Tipperary v Dublin/Winner Joe McDonagh Cup

Saturday 27 July

All-Ireland SHC semi-final
Provincial final winner v All-Ireland quarter-final winner

Sunday 28 July

All-Ireland SHC semi-final
Provincial final winner v All-Ireland quarter-final winner

Sunday 18 August

All-Ireland SHC final

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