Ray Flanagan previews the All Ireland Hurling Final
Thought for the day: Have you ever placed a bet but hoped that it lost?
Well this afternoon I will be backing Waterford but hoping that Galway will win.
It promises to be an interesting final this afternoon between the two nearly teams of hurling. It will be the first final in 21 years that has now featured either Kilkenny, Tipperary or Cork and it will be a first title for either Galway in 29 years or Waterford in 58 years. Will it be a deserved first All-Ireland for Joe Canning or will it be Kevin Moran and Michael Walsh who get that elusive winners medal.
Of the two purely on basis of prices I slightly prefer Waterford at 9-4. Galway have the greater skill flair and scoring power but Waterford are warriors, they are masters of the tackle, and the question remains when the heat of battle is at the highest today and the game is drawn into the trenches will Galway have the bottle.
That is my doubt.
At any rate I am going to decline from making an outright prediction and instead will make a few alternative selections.
Jonathan Glynn- Man of Match and Score a goal
A phrase you will sometimes hear in hurling circles is to “hammer the hammer”. The notion that instead of targeting the opposition’s weakness, what you do is target their greatest strength. Waterford’s strength is their sweeper system and their organisation.
To my mind the selection of Glynn indicates that Galway are going to push up on the Waterford sweeper and try and break their organisation. Having been working in New York for two years, Glynn has re-joined the squad this summer and was expected to serve as an impact sub for the latter few games of the championship. A mountain of a man I am pleased to see him selected at Number 12. He may initially be deployed as a ball winner in the half forward line but I expect he will move into full forward early enough with Galway possibly utilising aerial bombardment against the Waterford defence. There was only one time when the Waterford sweeper system has malfunctioned and that was when Tipperary went route one in the 2016 Munster final.
Whether Galway win the All Ireland or not will in my opinion hinge on attacking Waterford right down the middle and trying to break their greatest strength.
Glynn I believe could be a match winner.
Kevin Moran-Man of Match
If it is to be Waterford’s day or even if it is not, I expect Moran to have a massive game either way. A warrior of a player he is central to his team’s cause and has been a powerful player for this team. He could be the dominate player in the middle third today and along with Gleeson is the man that Galway fear.
2 pts – Glynn to score a goal -12-5 P Power
1 pt – Glynn to be Man of Match-20-1 P power
1 pt –Glynn to receive Man of Match Nomination-5-1 P Power
1 pt- Kevin Moran to be Man of Match-20-1 P Power
1 pt- K Moran to receive Man of Match Nomination-5-1 P Power