Eoin Kelly: Galway will edge Kilkenny in ideal Thurles venue

Two-time All-Ireland winner Eoin Kelly feels The Tribesmen have enough weapons to down Brian Cody’s men in this weekend’s Leinster Hurling final replay…

It was amazing to watch the Munster final and then to flick across and watch the Leinster final – they were worlds apart.

There was intensity in the Munster final, but it was free flowing and there was more skill on display.

Whereas with Kilkenny and Galway it was more of a physical battle. The Tribesmen will feel they underperformed.

They’ll be disappointed they didn’t play to their full potential and that’s something they have a week to rectify coming to Thurles.

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Careless comments

There was a lot of hype in the week leading up to the first game with David Burke’s comments, but they knew Kilkenny would come at them extra hard.

Not that Kilkenny would need motivation, but something like that would do the trick. Micheál Donoghue would have seen that coming.

As a manager, you wouldn’t be happy with what he said. David Burke would have been disappointed when he saw the headline.

I believe it might have been taken out of context. But, I’m sure it was used as a motivating factor for the Kilkenny players though.

They’ve got lads of the calibre of TJ Reid, Walsh, Colin Fennelly, Hogan and Paul Murphy. Let’s call a spade a spade, those lads are not used to being beaten by Galway in championship hurling.

They would have been saying ‘Look, let’s show these boys we’re not gone away’.

I thought Micheál Donoghue tried to rectify it speaking after the match when he said they ‘had the height of respect for Kilkenny’. But, these are the little challenges that Galway have to handle as champions and odds-on favourites to win back-to-back championships.

It’s the first time we’ve heard them say anything in the last 12 months!

Croker is not ideal for Leinster decider

The Leinster Championship hasn’t been great in years gone by.

But, then you’d find yourself walking into a haymaker come August when you’d be in an All-Ireland semi-final or final against Leinster opposition.

I don’t see Croke Park as being the ideal venue for a Leinster final either.

You’ll see a change of view after Sunday’s Leinster final because it will be on in Thurles, it’ll be an opener game, you’ll get more scores there and it will feel like more of an occasion. It’s great that it’s in Thurles, you can stroll along the street from the town up to your game and there’s easy access in and out.

It’s going to be a tight game. However, I expect Galway to push on and win the replay on Sunday.

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What do you think?