Seán Moran

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 HURLING -

Yes. Hurl­ing is cur­rently very com­pet­i­tive in Mun­ster and more so than usual in Le­in­ster. Given the small num­ber of elite coun­ties, there was al­ways a need for more fix­tures. It changes the na­ture of cham­pi­onship from big col­li­sions to a more even tempo but the best teams will emerge. Kilkenny got the most out of them­selves in the league but are still a work in progress. One thing that was ob­vi­ous dur­ing the league was the num­ber of play­ers be­ing tried out by many coun­ties –- a re­flec­tion of the ex­pected de­mands of the round-robin cham­pi­onship for­mat. Gal­way are un­likely to re­tain the ti­tle without a good cam­paign from Joe Can­ning but his role has be­come more in­te­grated in re­cent years – one of the rea­sons that they’re cham­pi­ons – and it would be pos­si­ble for a team-mate to out­shine him in­di­vid­u­ally. Some­one like David Burke, who has the qual­ity to de­liver a big sea­son. In a con­gested Mun­ster cham­pi­onship and with Tip­per­ary com­ing to the Gaelic Grounds, Lim­er­ick can con­tinue to rise. When cham­pi­ons plea-bar­gain away their league cam­paign, it’s easy to get sus­pi­cious but there are valid rea­sons for Gal­way to have idled a bit after last year’s dou­ble. Proven power, pace and marks­man­ship are a fair com­bi­na­tion.

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