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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

Daithi Regan's key All-Ireland SHC final duel’s hurling analyst looks at a match-up which could have a critical bearing on today’s decider.

Henry Shefflin and Tony Og Regan battle for possession in the drawn final.
Henry Shefflin and Tony Og Regan battle for possession in the drawn final.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

AFTER THE INFLUENCE he exerted in the drawn game, it is going to be crucial how Galway handle Henry Shefflin.

In that sense the role of Tony Óg Regan is key as even though Shefflin has been named at left corner-forward, I would expect him to come out to centre-forward to influence the game at some juncture. I think Kilkenny will try to exploit more one on one situations in their forward line.

Tony Óg Regan is a fine centre-back but he does not like being run at and if Kilkenny can get down the channels, to get him turning in retreat, it will expose a weakness in the Galway regard.

In modern day hurling, teams want their centre-back to be the lock they can depend on. If they can dominate it frustrates the opposition as the influence of their centre-forward is limited and their wing-forwards are forced to live off scraps of possession.

That’s why the potential battle of Regan and Shefflin is key, and in the same regard the battle between Niall Burke and Brian Hogan at the other end can be vital. If the centre-back is the lock, the key question is which team can pick at that lock to open up the space for their forwards to exploit.

Galway v Kilkenny All-Ireland SHC final replay match guide

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