When Antrim and Galway were admitted to the Leinster Hurling Championship a few years ago it added considerable spice to the competition.
By extension, their involvement in the All-Ireland series became more pronounced but this year while Antrim have exited the All-Ireland title race at the hands of Wexford, Galway are still in the frame to capture the Liam McCarthy Cup.
On Sunday they face a potentially stiff quarter-final challenge against a Waterford side still smarting from that drubbing they received at the hands of Tipperary in the Munster final.
Waterford leaked an astonishing 7-19 in that game and afterwards John Mullane, one of their most experienced players, publicly apologised to the fans for the team’s wretched performance.
Yet their bid to achieve redemption could now be thwarted by a feisty, fired-up Galway side that has looked particularly sharp in recent games.
In Joe Canning, Iarla Tannian and Damien Hayes, Galway have potent finishers who have the capacity to heap more agony on a Waterford side that lost considerable credibility in that Munster final blitz.
Dublin will feel they have a big point to make when they square up to Limerick.
Anthony Daly’s side fell heavily to Kilkenny in the Leinster final and now get another bite at the All-Ireland cherry knowing that it will take a big performance to overcome a Limerick outfit that left Wexford floundering.