Ray Flanagan previews the All Ireland Hurling Final
This Sunday is All Ireland Hurling Final Day with the two early championship favourites Kilkenny and Tipperary contesting the decider. Having both come through really tough semi final matches the two teams are likely to be primed and ready to give their all. Kilkenny have had the upper hand in recent encounters losing only one of their last five championship battles but the Munster men are still full of confidence that they are the team to beat this particular year.
My analysis of this game is simple, I believe that if Tipperary can secure enough ball possession their forwards will amass more scores than their Kilkenny counterparts. I am looking at the Tipp full forward line of McGrath, Callanan and O Dwyer and this line I expect will prove too hot for the Kilkenny rearguard to handle. I expect at least two and maybe even three goals coming from this line. Interestingly Paddy Power will double the odds if the first goal comes within the opening 20 minutes. Tipperary to win and win it well is my prediction.
The Man of The Match can offer a bit of value and bizarrely I have a good record in this market.
My two darts are Padraic Maher and John O Dwyer.
Padraic Maher is soldiering with the team for a number of years now and the Number 7’s influence is as strong as ever, To my mind the defining moment of this years championship was his goal saving block against Conor Cooney in the semi final. If Cooney had buried the chance, I believe it would be the maroon and white rather than the blue and gold lifting the cup today. Maher is a fierce competitor and no one will be more determined to keep Kilkenny at bay when the chips are down.
The most likely man of the match will come from the full forward line of McGrath, Callanan and Dwyer. You could back all three and have a great chance but I will take a shot with the returning Dwyer who could have a major part to play. An outstanding hurler he has had a stop-start year getting suspended for the Munster Final along with been dropped for the semi final. He produced an outstanding bit of skill when introduced though and will be fired up to give a really big show this afternoon.
Recommended Bets- All with Paddy Power
5 pts- Tipperary to win-11-10
1 pt -Tipperary to win by 4-6 points-11-2
1 pt -Padraic Maher to be be nominated for man of match top 3 -9-2
0.5 pts- Padraic Maher to win man of match award-12-1
0.5 pts- John O Dwyer to win man of match award-11-1
1 pt -Seamus Callanan to score 1st goal-5-1
1 pt- John McGrath to score 1st goal-8-1