Galway take on Waterford this weekend in the All Ireland Senior Hurling final in Croke Park. Galway are seeking a first title since 1988 whilst you have to go back 58 year to 1959 for Waterfords last triumph.
Sunday will see a battle of styles as Michael O’Donoghue’s side attempt to overcome Derek McGrath’s sweeper system which has been practiced by Waterford over the past seasons but finely honed during this campaign.
Speaking ahead of the final, Limerick GAA pundit Matt O’Callaghan is looking forward to the contest.
“If you go back to the start of the year, you would have got very long odds on this pairing of Galway and Waterford.
“Perhaps Galway after the past two years you would have thought they would be there or there abouts.
“They won the Leinster Championship very very convincingly. They’ve taken hurling by storm with their style and their dash and panache and some excellent players, they’ve lit up the summer of hurling.”
The wait will end for @Galway_GAA OR @waterfordGAA on Sunday! GAANOW remembers some historic victories for counties that 'Ended the Famine' pic.twitter.com/MgLs2xa3sU
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 31, 2017
While Galway won the Leinster title with relative ease, Waterford have had to come through the back door to the final, but have improved at every stage, defeating Cork in the All Ireland semi final to atone for the Munster championship loss.
“Now Waterford have come in a bit more under the radar. Their performance in the Munster final left them with an awful lot to do when they were beaten by Cork… But they’re here and they’re here on merit.
“Galway are looking for a first title since 1988, Waterford are looking for a first title since 1959. Over the years Waterford and Galway have met 10 times in the championship. Many of those encounters were pre qualifier days, maybe there one or two in the Munster championship when Galway were in the Munster championship in the 60s. But Galway have never tasted championship victory over Waterford in senior hurling.”
All in all, it is a final for the neutrals as both teams look to end their barren runs and claim the Liam McCarthy trophy once again.
“It’s exciting in that there’s no clear favouriteds… It looks to be a very open final.”
“I’d put a bet on the counter, I’d look at it and I would probably change it three or four times before I would plump for either side but if I was forced, I would plump for Galway.”
You can hear Matt’s preview of the All Ireland Hurling Final on the link below.