The Leinster Hurling Championship Final takes place this Sunday at 4pm in Croke Park. The game will of course be broadcast live on RTE television, while we will also have live updates on our live match tracker on SportsNewsIreland.
Looking at a preview of the game now, we will first take a look at the reigning All-Ireland Champions Galway. Micheal O’Donoghue’s charges come into the game on the back of playing 4 games in the round robin series and winning 4 of them rather easily enough bar the Dublin game. Galway have already met Kilkenny this year with that game been at Pearse Stadium, they proved far to strong for Kilkenny on that occasion winning easily 1-22 to 2-11. Galway’s key players once again will be Gearoid McInerney, Joe Canning, Conor Cooney and Daithi Burke, big games from these players will see Galway go close for sure.
Kilkenny come into the game on the back of a win over Wexford last time out. They have played 4. lost 3, the loss coming to Galway of course at Salthill. Kilkenny were out fought in that game in terms of physicality something that is not often said about Brian Cody trained teams. However, Kilkenny still possess talent and experience, they have the likes of Padraig Walsh, Cillian Buckley, TJ Reid and Walter Walsh, while players like Richie Leahy, Liam Blanchfield and Martin Keoghan are all still plying their trade in the senior side.
The sides meet for the second time in five weeks with Galway winning the round robin game back in May comprehensively enough. It will be the 5th Leinster Final meeting between the sides with Kilkenny having won three of those to Galway’s one. It will be the 44th championship meeting in total, Kilkenny have won 31 of those to Galway’s 10 with two draws. Kilkenny have been in 17 Leinster Finals in the last 20 years, they have won 16 of those, only losing one to Galway in 2012. The last time Galway beat Kilkenny in successive championship games was in the 1986 All-Ireland semi-final and 1987 final.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS
2018 Galway 1-22 Kilkenny 2-11
2016 Kilkenny 1-26 Galway 0-22
2015 Kilkenny 1-22 Galway 1-18
2015 Kilkenny 1-25 Galway 2-15
2014 Kilkenny 3-19 Galway 1-17
The teams are yet to be announced but are expected Friday evening.
Galway are 2/5 favourites here to win this, while Kilkenny are 5/2 outsiders. The draw is priced at 10/1 with most firms. The betting markets I like here are Joe Canning to get man of the match at 13/2, he was unlucky not to get it when the sides last met. I also think Galway will win by 4 or 5 points, so on that basis would opt to go with the winning margin betting market Galway to win by 4-6 points at odds of 4/1.