This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019
Advertisement

Our writers give their predictions for today's All-Ireland hurling final

The42 team reveal how they expect things to pan out between Galway and Waterford

Fintan O’Toole

1. Who is the key player for Galway?

Conor Cooney. The focal point of the Galway full-forward line and a player who has grown in stature of late. Galway need another big ball-winning display from him given how crowded Waterford’s goalmouth will be.

2. Who is the key player for Waterford?

Jamie Barron. An all-action midfielder whose swerve and speed have helped him land crucial goals this summer against Kilkenny and Cork. The Fourmilewater man has a great chance of being crowned Hurler of the Year.

Jamie Barron celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal Barron celebrates scoring his second goal against Cork Source: James Crombie/INPHO

3. A key factor on the day will be…

How Waterford configure their defence against the Galway attack as they must manage without a key man-marker in Conor Gleeson, who has successfully blotted out scoring threats all season.

4. What’s been your favourite hurling moment of the summer?

The tense and gripping finale to normal time in July’s qualifier in Thurles when Kilkenny staged an improbable revival to reel Waterford in. Their refusal to wilt was remarkable and Waterford’s gathering of their senses to finally beat them in extra-time was as impressive.

5. Who will win the Liam MacCarthy Cup and why?

Galway. They can get it right third time around after the disappointments of 2012 and 2015. Their experience, array of options in attack and confidence from a season where they haven’t put a foot wrong, can all be key ingredients.

Kevin O’Brien

1. Who is the key player for Galway?

David Burke. His link-up play with Joe Canning is a massive part of Galway’s play. Waterford will look to flood the middle third, so Burke needs to gain a foothold at midfield early on.

David Burke celebrates Galway's David Burke will be a key man on Sunday Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

2. Who is the key player for Waterford?

Tadhg de Burca. He returns from suspension to face the most electric attack in the country. The sweeper must use all his defensive instincts to help shut down the dual-threat of Conor Cooney and Conor Whelan.

3. A key factor on the day will be…

The delivery of possession into either forward line. Waterford will try to avoid high deliveries on top of Gearoid McInerney and Daithi Burke, while Galway need to keep it away from de Burca.

4. What’s been your favourite hurling moment of the summer?

Wexford’s stunning Leinster semi-final win over Kilkenny. The scenes in Wexford Park that night will live long in the memory. Davy Fitz re-emerging from his custom built box to the roar of the 18,000-strong crowd almost lifted the roof off the stand.

Lee Chin celebrates with fans Lee Chin celebrates with fans after Wexford beat Kilkenny Source: James Crombie/INPHO

5. Who will win the Liam MacCarthy Cup and why?

Galway. They’ve developed into a steely outfit in year two of Michael Donoghue and the team is very settled. The Tribe have enough shooters to account for the Waterford sweeper and score 25+ points.

Sinead O’Carroll

1. Who is the key player for Galway?

For me Joe Canning is the man for Galway. When someone needed to take the semi-final by the scruff of its neck, the veteran (we can say that now, right?) was there not only with skill and leadership but with the scores too.

2. Who is the key player for Waterford?

Austin Gleeson is the man who could win this match for Waterford – even against the run of play. He could provide moments and play in that style which makes hurling look like an individual, gladiator sport. He is brilliant in the true sense of the word.

Austin Gleeson Deise star Austin Gleeson Source: James Crombie/INPHO

3. A key factor on the day will be…

Sending offs. In a year where red cards have been many and often and game-changing, if both teams can keep 15 on the field on Sunday, I’d see it going to the wire – and perhaps even a second day. If someone succumbs to a couple of yellows or, god forbid, grabs the helmet off someone’s head, it could be over for their colleagues.

4. What’s been your favourite hurling moment of the summer?

Although cognisant of turning this into the Joe Show, I can’t think of a moment that had me more excited and in awe of the game of hurling than Canning taking that pass from Johnny Coen at the edge of Croke Park. Even solid Tipperary roots couldn’t stop my fist from pumping, my body from leaping off the couch and my vocal tools shouting, “That f***ing deserves an All-Ireland final.”

5. Who will win the Liam MacCarthy Cup and why?

Galway. Simply, I think they are the better team with the better hurlers. They are awesome in the air, playing with confidence, David Burke is due a massive game and they are relying on themselves and their ability – not a system.

Jackie Cahill

1. Who is the key player for Galway?

Gearóid McInerney. Galway’s half-back line has been their most impressive unit all year, and McInerney’s the man anchoring it. He was man of the match in the All-Ireland semi-final victory over Tipperary and will be operating in an area where Waterford’s Austin Gleeson will frequently pop up.

Michael Donoghue celebrates with Gearoid McInerney Michael Donoghue celebrates with Gearoid McInerney Source: James Crombie/INPHO

2. Who is the key player for Waterford?

Darragh Fives. He was exceptional in the semi-final victory over Cork and has another huge role to play in this final. With Tadhg de Búrca sweeping, Fives will operate on his own 65m line and his presence there will make life more difficult for Galway’s long-range shooters.

3. A key factor on the day will be…

Whoever gets the best start. If Galway get ahead early, and ideally raise a green flag, that leaves Waterford in a position where they’re chasing the game. What Waterford will hope for is to keep in this one for as long as possible, and then unload their bench down the home straight.

4. What’s been your favourite hurling moment of the summer?

Waterford’s victory over Kilkenny at Semple Stadium was a brilliant occasion, and a fine game. The challenge for the Déise then was to kick on and build on that victory, which they have done to reach the final.

Maurice Shanahan celebrates after the game with Jake Dillon Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

5. Who will win the Liam MacCarthy Cup and why?

Galway. They’re the most complete team in the country at this point in time and it’s difficult to see how Waterford are going to score enough to get them over line. Look at it this way – if it was Tipperary against Waterford in the final, the vast majority of pundits would plump for Tipp. But this Galway team hammered Tipp in the League final and came through a real battle against the same opposition in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Sinead Farrell

1. Who is the key player for Galway?

For me, it’s Conor Whelan. He has been immense for Galway this year, and is already one of their key players at just 20 years of age. His scoring contribution has been consistently good, but his real strength lies in his defensive work.

Conor Whelan Conor Whelan is one of the frontrunners for Hurler of the Year Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

2. Who is the key player for Waterford?

Waterford will be looking to Austin Gleeson for leadership in this game. Similar to Joe Canning, Gleeson has the ability to turn a game and as we saw in their semi-final encounter with Cork, he is capable of slicing defences open.

3. A key factor in the game will be…

How the game will materialise if, presumably, Waterford stick with their sweeper system. Galway haven’t scored a goal in their last three championship games, but have been coming away with victories. That enables them to bypass the sweeper and simply tag on the points to get the job done.

4. What’s been your favourite hurling moment of the year?

I want to pick Conor Whelan’s hook on Michael Cahill, but the award will have to go to Joe Canning. Despite a quiet performance for much of the game, Canning emerged with some crucial scores in the semi-final when the need was greatest, including the decisive point from the sideline as the clock drifted into the 74th minute.

Joe Canning celebrates Joe Canning celebrates after hitting the winner in the semi-final Source: James Crombie/INPHO

5. Who will win the Liam MacCarthy Cup?

I think Galway will edge this one out. Their forwards are in exceptional form and Joe Canning’s game has changed for the better since he switched from being the target man to the link player at centre-forward. They’re also the physically stronger team.

Subscribe to The42 podcasts here:

Donegal confirm Banty and Bonner in the running for senior football job

Stack returns and Mayo unchanged as sides named for semi-final double-header

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:

COMMENTS (6)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel