A draw between Clare and Waterford in Cusack Park on Sunday week could be enough to seal them Division 1 quarter-final berths.
Of the four available spots in Division 1A, only Tipperary, guaranteed to finish top of the table for the third time in five seasons, are already into the last-eight.
In Division 1B, Wexford have not only sealed promotion but as the best of the bunch will face the fourth-placed team in Division 1A in their quarter-final.
Galway and Limerick, who face each other in the Gaelic Grounds in 12 days’ time, have also secured places with Kerry, Laois or Offaly taking the final slot as they all aim to avoid relegation to Division 2A.
Clare, Cork and Waterford are all on four points knowing a win (for any) on Sunday week will confirm their Division 1A status for another season.
Cork are at home to Tipperary when they will be looking to beat their rivals for the first time since 2013.
One record will fall in Ennis on March 26 as Clare have won both of their home games thus far as Waterford have won their two ventures on the road, each set of results achieved against Kilkenny and Dublin.
A stalemate would be good enough for both providing Kilkenny beat Dublin in Parnell Park and Cork lost in Páirc Ui Rinn.
Both Dublin (two points) and Kilkenny (three points) will need to beat the other and hope for results to go their way either in Cork or Cusack Park to assist them in avoiding a relegation play-off.
Clare’s score difference is one better than Cork’s but nine more than Waterford. Should more than two teams finish on the same number of points, score difference will determine the final places.
In Division 1B, only a win for Limerick will see them finish above their final round opponents Galway as the Tribesmen have a better score difference.
Should Kerry beat Offaly and Laois defeat Wexford, the Kingdom will set up a clash away to Tipperary having beaten Laois in the opening round.
Offaly can avoid a relegation play-off by beating Kerry and hoping Wexford defeat Laois as the three would then all finish on three points and Offay’s score difference is superior to both Kerry and Laois.
Meanwhile, the Club Players Association (CPA)indicated they are close to publishing their ideas to address the GAA’s fixtures issues.
Following an executive meeting last week, the CPA yesterday released a statement which also noted the All-Ireland senior clubs final, which take place in Croke Park this Friday.
It read: “The Club Players’ Association are continuing to make positive strides to fixing the fixtures to ensure every club player has an opportunity to play their chosen sport regularly.
“We are currently engaged in on-going discussions with all the relevant stakeholders and we are confident those discussions will bring about meaningful change.
"Substantial work has been done on our proposed solutions to the fixtures crisis.”
“We feel our fixture plans are positive, exciting and innovative and will bring a meaningful balance to inter-county and club as well as getting an improved balance between hurling and football.
“This is something all members of the GAA aspire to. We as volunteers look forward to continuing talks with GAA Officials at all levels in an agreed forum where we can share these plans and positive views for the greater good of our entire Association.”
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