Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - GAELIC GAMES -

WHEN it comes down to it, of the two teams, Gal­way’s ceil­ing is higher. If both sides play to their po­ten­tial, or any­where close to it, I think Gal­way win. They have the bet­ter play­ers, es­pe­cially up front. Add in their ex­pe­ri­ence and de­sire, af­ter los­ing two pre­vi­ous fi­nals, to en­sure that a third de­feat in four doesn’t be­come their legacy and I ex­pect them to be very hard to beat.

There’s ob­vi­ously a con­cern as to what the two re­plays have taken out of them. Have they the en­ergy to match the raw en­thu­si­asm and ef­fort their op­po­nents will bring? If Lim­er­ick are still in the match with 15 min­utes left and the bench is un­leashed, will Gal­way have the legs to with­stand it?

I think that some of that con­jec­ture has to be get­ting un­der the skin of the Gal­way play­ers. They’ve an­swered all the ques­tions asked of them so far. In their minds, the hard part was get­ting to the fi­nal. Two weeks is am­ple time to re­cover and get the en­ergy lev­els back up. I also know that if I were a Gal­way player, af­ter all they’ve been through to­gether, I’d be hell-bent on mak­ing sure the job is fin­ished.

Lim­er­ick’s time will come. It’s not be­yond the bounds of pos­si­bil­ity that to­day is the day this team comes of age and they play with a pas­sion and aban­don that Gal­way can’t with­stand. Kiely and Kin­nerk will have left no stone un­turned and this is the best-pre­pared and or­gan­ised Lim­er­ick team that has ever left the county, which gives them ev­ery chance.

None­the­less, I tipped Gal­way to re­tain their ti­tle at the start of the year and I’m not pre­pared to desert them now. I think the Burkes, Can­ning and Glynn will get them over the line. Gal­way to win.

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