Waterford v Limerick, Sunday, 2 pm, Walsh Park
This is a must win game for both sides. A loss for Waterford will end their hopes of reaching a quarter-final, even if they do win they would still be up against it. Limerick come into the game on the back of a loss to Cork. John Kiely wasn’t pleased with that loss and demanded a better performance around this time. Whether it will come here or not who knows. The game throws in at 2 pm and is live on RTE.
Waterford were unlucky against Clare in their opening game and they could have got a draw in the end. They followed that up with a poor display against a dominant Tipperary side in Thurles 2 weeks ago. Paraic Fanning will know a loss here will all but end Waterford’s championship for 2019. A win would give them some sort of chance of reaching a quarter-final.
I personally think the tight pitch at Walsh Park doesn’t suit Waterford. Fair enough they play and train at that venue but they have forwards that would probably like a bigger pitch. When it comes to physicality it will be tough to beat Limerick. They have so. E powerful players, but speed is where Waterford can catch them out.
Reigning All-Ireland Champions Limerick come into the game on the back of a loss to Cork. It was their first game in the championship and it probably took them time to settle into the pace of championship, Cork had the edge as they already played a game. I expect a different display from Limerick this time around and they will be fired up for the trip to the South East.
Looking at the sides. Waterford will look to players like Conor Prunty, Tadgh De Burca and Kevin Moran in defence. Jamie Barron in midfield will also need to have a big game. Austin Gleeson, Stephen Bennett and Pauric Mahony will be the men in attack looking to pave a way through the Limerick defence. Limerick will to Mike Casey, Sean Finn and Diarmuid Byrnes in defence. Cian Lynch will once again be the man that gels everything together in midfield. In attack, Aaron Gillane and Graeme Mulcahy will be looking for good performances. Mulcahy was outstanding in the game against Cork.
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2018 Limerick 2-26 Waterford 1-16 (Munster round robin)
2011 Waterford 3-15 Limerick 3-14 (Munster semi-final)
2009 Waterford 0-25 0-17 (Munster semi-final replay)
2009 Waterford 0-11 Limerick 1-08 (Munster semi-final)
2007 Limerick 5-11 Waterford 2-15 (All-Ireland semi-final)
John Kiely speaking after the loss to Cork immediately turned his attention to this game:
“At the moment I don’t have an answer. We’ve got to go and get a result the next day, that’s the bottom line.“I see very little chance of us making it through without winning down there. I don’t know what the maths is going to be like at that stage, but let’s face it, we lost our first game, we need to get something out of the second. We have to go and get a result.“They’ll want to show a great deal of pride in their performance at home but at the moment, we have to go and have a good, hard look at ourselves because what we did out there wasn’t good enough.”
Paraic Fanning speaking to RTE Sport following the loss to Clare focused his attention to this game with Limerick in which said “There’s two ways we can go. We can leave the season peter out or we can fight for our lives. “It’s all about trying to rescue our season now and seeing what happens with that.”
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe, Calum Lyons, Conor Prunty, Noel Connors, Darragh Fives, Tadgh De Burca, Kevin Moran, Jamie Barron, Jack Prendergast, Pauric Mahony, Austin Gleeson, Maurice Shanahan, Mikey Kearney, Stephen Bennett, Thomas Ryan.
Limerick: 1. Nicky Quaid, 2. Sean Finn, 3. Mike Casey 4. Richie English, 5. Dan Morrissey
6. Declan Hannon, 7. Paddy O’Loughlin, 8. Cian Lynch, 9. William O’Donoghue, 10. Gearoid Hegarty, 11. Kyle Hayes, 12. Tom Morrissey, 13. Aaron Gillane, 14. Graeme Mulcahy 15. Peter Casey
Limerick are 4/9 favourites, while Waterford are 21/10. The draw is a nice price at 9/1. Limerick -3 is the handicap and I like the odds on offer for this at even money. Graeme Mulcahy at 15/2 to get the first goal also represents value.