The 2019 GAA season is upon us!
Last year Limerick captured thier first All-Ireland title in 45-years as the counyt united as one to celebrate John Kiely and his side.
Limerick entered the year given little chance but proved to be the cream of the crop defeating the then reigning champions Galway in the final on a magical day in August.
Ahead of this years League kick-off, we look at the hurling power rankings.
With the standard so high, there is very little to choose between the teams but here goes.
*McDonagh cup teams are not included. This ranking scheme is restricted to participants in the Munster and Leinster championships.
It will be Carlow’s maiden year in the Leinster championship after they defeated Westmeath to win the McDonagh Cup last year. They were well beaten by Limerick in the provisional quarter finals in 2018 but will look to build on this success. However, first up for them in Leinster are Galway and Kilkenny. They are 1000/1 to win it out.
Much was expected of Dublin last year with the appointment of Pat Gilroy, with many hoping he could do a similar job to the one he did whilst in charge of the county’s football team. As things panned out it was a very disappointing season for the capitals side who are now under the tutelage of Mattie Kenny who guided Cuala to back to back All-Ireland club titles. They are similarly priced to Carlow.
With Derek McGrath no longer in charge, it will be an interesting year for Waterford. He guided the county to their first All-Ireland final appearance since 2008 in 2017 but failed to build on it in his final year in charge with Waterford failing to pick up a win in the championship last summer. A new manager might usher in a new system, away from McGraths which they became so accustomed to and may see the Deise struggle. The fact they must play their Munster Championship games away from home does not help their cause.
Wexford will be extremely disappointed with how they limped out of the championship last summer at the hands of Clare in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Davy Fitz men simply never got out of the starting blocks that day after a promising start to the campaign. They were a late Kilkenny comeback away from contesting a second consecutive Leinster final, something which Fitzgerald can build on for 2019. On their day they can cause an upset, but the depth of the squad will be tested once again the further into the championship they find themselves.
2018 saw Clare play a competitive game in Croke Park for the first time since their All Ireland win in 2013 with
Brian Cody can never be written off. However, Kilkenny
After such a disappointing year where they failed to make it out of Munster, Liam Sheedy is back in charge of Tipperary. His appointment should provide the lift needed in Tipp to see the county re-establish itself as one of the powers in hurling. In his first term as manager, Sheedy delivered two Munster Championships and a first All-Ireland title in almost a decade in his three years in charge. With the likes of Seamus Callanan, Jason Forde, the Maher’s and
Last summer Galway narrowly missed out on retaining the title they won for the first time in 29 years after defeat to Limerick in the All-Ireland final in August. They enter the 2019 season as favourites with both Paddy Power and William Hill, listed at 5/2 by both sites. Their starting XV is regarded as the best in the country and with several minor championships annexed in the past few years, some added ammunition from the bench could be the difference for Galway this year. A rematch of last year’s final could well be on the cards.
Back to back semi-final appearances as well as consecutive Munster titles prove that Cork are moving in the right direction. However, at the penultimate stage in the previous two years have seen them lose to Munster rivals, with last seasons semi-final leaving a particularly sour taste in the mouths of rebels who saw their side lose a six-point advantage to Limerick in the final to minutes. In John Meyler’s third year in charge, Liam MacCarthy is sure to be their focus, with Munster titles proving fruitless in ’16 and ’17. The return of Alan Cadogan could be the difference for Cork this year.
The reigning champions are our