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Banner's battle to beat drop gets harder after Cats win toss

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Players including Kilkenny's Brian Kennedy, Joe Lyng, William Phelan and Tomas Keogh vie with Clare players Colm Galvin, Aaron Cunningham and John Conlon for possession of the sliothar

Players including Kilkenny's Brian Kennedy, Joe Lyng, William Phelan and Tomas Keogh vie with Clare players Colm Galvin, Aaron Cunningham and John Conlon for possession of the sliothar

SPORTSFILE

Players including Kilkenny's Brian Kennedy, Joe Lyng, William Phelan and Tomas Keogh vie with Clare players Colm Galvin, Aaron Cunningham and John Conlon for possession of the sliothar

CLARE hurlers' battle to survive in Division 1A became more difficult when they lost home advantage to Kilkenny in yesterday's toss for venue.

That means they have to travel to Nowlan Park for the second time in eight days to face a Cats side who pipped them last weekend and are expected to be bolstered by the return of the Ballyhale crew.

Dublin's NHL quarter-final against Limerick will be in Croke Park on Saturday evening (5.0) and forms a double-header with their footballers facing Derry (7.0).

Cork and Offaly also won the toss to secure home advantage in their quarter-finals against Wexford and Tipperary respectively.

Waterford were always going to host Galway due to the fact that they had fewer home games during the group stages but Laois also won the toss to host their Division 1B relegation play-off with Antrim, which will be a double-header with their footballers playing Kildare on Saturday night.

The Cork footballers were already due to play Mayo in a Division 1 top-of-the-table clash on Sunday so they also have a double-header in Pairc Ui Rinn The league finals in hurling's lower divisions will take place on April 4 and the line-ups are: Westmeath v Kerry (2A), Kildare v Meath (2B), Tyrone v Monaghan (3A) and Longford v Warwickshire (3B).

SATURDAY

NHL Division 1 quarter-final: Dublin v Limerick, Croke Park, 5.0; NFL: Dublin v Derry, Croke Park, 7.0.

Division 1B NHL relegation play-off: Laois v Antrim, Portlaoise, 5.0; NFL: Laois v Kildare, Portlaoise, 7.0.

Division 2B NHL relegation play-off: Donegal v Mayo, venue TBC.

SUNDAY

NHL Division 1 quarter-finals: Offaly v Tipperary, Tullamore, 3.0; Cork v Wexford, Pairc Ui Rinn, 4.0 Waterford v Galway, Walsh Park, 4.0 (Live TG4).

Division 1A relegation play-off: Kilkenny v Clare, Nowlan Park, 2.0 (Live TG4).

NFL: Cork v Mayo, Pairc Ui Rinn, 2.0;

Irish Independent