Apart from being only their second ever clash in the Guinness hurling championship, the meeting of Limerick and Offaly in a qualifier tie at Semple Stadium tonight will test the public interest in midweek games.
It’s yet another ground-breaking venture in the hurling championship which, by Saturday evening, will have cleared the way for the All-Ireland quarter-final games which will be played on Sunday week, July 27.
The clash of Limerick v Offaly will evoke memories of the memorable 1994 All-Ireland final between the counties when Offaly staged an incredible recovery to score 2-05 in the final five minutes en route to a 3-16 to 2-13 win.
Since then, all their clashes have been confined to league action with their most recent meeting coming on March 16 when Offaly won by 2-16 to 1-12 in Kilmallock.
This will be Limerick’s fourth game in this year’s championship, having drawn and lost to Waterford in Munster before beating Kerry in the qualifiers.
Offaly lost narrowly to Wexford in the Leinster semi-final and beat Dublin in the All-Ireland qualifiers.
Limerick: T Houlihan; D Reale, TJ Ryan, S McDonagh; P Lawlor, B Geary, M Foley; J Meskell, C Smith; C Fitzgerald, N Moran, J Moran; A O'Shaughnessy, B Begley, D Sheehan.
Offaly: B Mullins; N Claffey, G Oakley, D Franks; J Brady, Brian Whelahan, C Cassidy; AN Other, Barry Whelahan; M Cordial, G Hanniffy, B Murphy; B Carroll, J Errity, R Hanniffy.