This is going to be a cracker of an All-Ireland Hurling final. These sides almost mirror each other on how they set up and play as Waterford are the nearest team to Limerick physicality wise in the Championship. Both teams carry a threat in the inside forward line, they have aerial ball winners and have two great managers. It’s going to be a fascinating contest.
Rain has been forecast for Sunday and it could have a big bearing on the game, it might just play in Limerick’s favour as they hurled brilliantly against Tipperary in desperate conditions in Cork earlier in the Championship. But, something is just telling me that everything is set up for Waterford to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to win their first All-Ireland title since 1959.
Sunday 3.30pm: Waterford v Limerick
RTÉ 2 and Sky Sports Mix
The hype is low-key in Waterford at present, it seems like Liam Cahill’s lads are going to Dublin to play just another hurling match on Sunday. They are not playing a Cork, Tipperary or Kilkenny – one of the traditional counties – in this final and Waterford against Limerick over the years has mostly been a tight affair. Waterford would have always fancied their chances of taking down The Treaty County.
But, let’s not kid ourselves! If The Déise are to win, it’s going to take the second-half performance they produced against Kilkenny and beyond to beat this Limerick team. For Waterford to succeed, they need Tadhg de Búrca to have a massive game – along with the likes of Stephen Bennett, Austin Gleeson, Jack Fagan and Dessie Hutchinson. If there’s only a couple of scores in the game going into the last quarter, I reckon Waterford will have enough in them to get over the line. It will be by the tightest of margins though, maybe by 1-3 points on the day.
I’m going for Austin Gleeson to find the back of the net at any time of Sunday. This lad reminds me of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the snooker, he’s capable of anything. If he flicks the switch during the final at all, Waterford have a super chance of lifting Liam MacCarthy – he’s that good. He could be in the running for the Man of the Match market too, but I fancy him to at least raise a green flag on Sunday.
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