Limerick v Waterford, Sunday, 2pm, Croke Park
Limerick and Waterford meet in this all Munster clash where silverware is up for grabs as the Allianz Hurling League Final takes place at Croke Park as part of a triple header on Sunday. The game throws in at 2pm and is live on TG4.
Limerick are the team still to beat in 2019 in my opinion, they have progressed even further from that All-Ireland win last year. John Kiely has a superb bunch of players to pick from with everyone fighting for places. They topped the standings in Division 1A. The only loss coming to Cork, but they were already assured of a quarter final spot going into that game. Since then they have beaten Laois in the quarter finals and also accounted for Dublin last weekend in the semi-final at Nowlan Park. They weren’t at their usual fluid style but that was the way the game planned out and they still got over the line against a very well drilled Dublin side. Waterford have been hitting form as well. They finished second behind Dublin in 1B. Indeed the only game they lost was to Dublin in a high scoring encounter at Parnell Park. Since then though they hammered Clare racking up 31 points in the process, while last weekend they got over the line against a lack luster Galway despite having only 14 men with 15 minutes left.
John Kiely will look to players like Tom Condon, Sean Finn and Diarmuid Byrnes in his defence. Declan Hannon should also return for this game having sat out the Dublin game. Darragh O’Donovan and Cian Lynch are likely to continue the midfield partnership, while in attack Graeme Mulcahy, Peter Casey and Aaron Gillane will be expected to come up trumps yet again. Waterford manager Pauric Fanning will likely start a very strong team again to knowing that a league title is on the line. In defence Noel Connors, Kevin Moran and Philip Mahony will add experience, while Jamie Barron will once again be looking to excel in midfield. Austin Gleeson, Pauric Mahony and the Bennett brothers will be the main men in attack and if they get quality ball they will cause problems.
Limerick (HL1 final v Waterford): Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Sean Finn, Richie English; Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Cian Lynch, Darragh O’Donovan; Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Peter Casey, Graeme Mulcahy
Waterford (HL1 final v Limerick): Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Callum Lyons, Noel Connors; Philip Mahony, Tadgh De Burca, Kevin Moran; Jamie Barron, Austin Gleeson; Mikey Kearney, Michael Walsh, Pauric Mahony; Peter Hogan, Stephen Bennett, Shane Bennett
Limerick are 8/13 and Waterford are 13/8. I am going to go with the underdog here and Waterford to win. Main reason because they haven’t won anything in a while and I expect that drive might get over the line. It will be close though. Austin Gleeson for man of the match as well.