FOR­MER TIP­PER­ARY CAP­TAIN, DUBLIN SE­LEC­TOR

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - ALL-IRELAND SHC FINAL PREVIEW - Richie Stakelum

What match-ups will prove

most de­ci­sive? Mark­ing Aaron Gil­lane is so im­por­tant for Gal­way be­cause he gets on a huge amount of goal chances. He’s young though, so will he con­tinue to per­form at that level? Cian Lynch in the mid­dle of the field also needs mind­ing but I’ll be watch­ing for the ex­pected match-up of Gearóid McIn­er­ney and Kyle Hayes – that’ll be a huge phys­i­cal bat­tle with a huge bear­ing on the game. Gal­way ex­pe­ri­ence should mat­ter but Lim­er­ick came back against Kilkenny and Cork so the All-Ire­land fi­nal should be no prob­lem, right? You never really know how peo­ple re­act to the big­gest day of all. Ob­vi­ously this is Lim­er­ick’s first time but there is some­thing dif­fer­ent about them and that’s got to do with the num­ber of games they’ve played – seven cham­pi­onship matches. And don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the fact they re­sponded to quickly to beat Kilkenny af­ter Richie Ho­gan got the goal. That gives a team a mas­sive psy­cho­log­i­cal boost. And then to beat Cork how they did. I don’t see a flop. They are so cool.

Win­ners? I would go with Lim­er­ick. Gal­way looked a lit­tle jaded and Joe Can­ning, while mag­nif­i­cent in the semi-fi­nal, was car­ry­ing an in­jury.

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