FOR­MER DUBLIN HURLER

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - ALL-IRELAND SHC FINAL PREVIEW - Ryan O’Dwyer

What match-ups will prove

most de­ci­sive? I’d love to see what Gal­way will do with Gearóid Hegarty. He’s bril­liant in the air but will Ai­dan Harte stay on that side? David Burke on Cian Lynch, both of them want to hurl but will they can­cel each other out? Séa­mus Flana­gan on Daithí Burke? I’d have to say Burke af­ter that phe­nom­e­nal catch in the re­play against Clare that no one else could have caught. Will De­clan Han­non, who likes to sit, fol­low Joe Can­ning, who likes to move out the field? Je­sus, there are so many match-ups! Gal­way ex­pe­ri­ence should mat­ter but Lim­er­ick came back against Kilkenny and Cork so the All-Ire­land fi­nal should be no prob­lem, right? I don’t think Gal­way have come out of third gear this year yet they have been winning. They have not hit the same in­ten­sity over a whole match as they did in 2017. I don’t know if they can. Lim­er­ick can match them phys­i­cally and they are well able to score. Men­tally, Lim­er­ick have looked very strong this year. A lot of ad­ver­sity has been thrown at them – con­ced­ing the goal against Kilkenny, go­ing down six points with nine min­utes left against Cork – so an All-Ire­land won’t af­fect them. Win­ners? I’m not say­ing Lim­er­ick will beat Gal­way but the un­do­ing of them will be off-field dis­trac­tions. Blank out all that and we get a crack­ing fi­nal. My heart says Lim­er­ick as it’s 45 years since they won. My mother is from Lim­er­ick so I’ve a long his­tory down there, but my wife is from Gal­way so I can’t win ei­ther way. The head says Gal­way by a point.

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