Lonesharkoy looks at the Leinster Hurling final and believes Galway are good value to beat Kilkenny at 11/4 with Ladbrokes and Skybet.
Kilkenny vs Galway, Leinster SHC
In the space of a month or so, an All-Ireland hurling championship that looked to be wide open has become a lot more of a closed shop. Huge question marks now hang over most of the teams, while this columnist remains to be convinced about quite how far Waterford’s tactical and sharpness advantage can take them. Kilkenny and Tipperary both looked very formidable a fortnight ago, while Galway are as yet unbeaten in three outings – having looked very impressive in one and a half of those.
On the form Galway showed in the Dublin replay, they have every reason to be confident this week. They moved the ball well, showing a nice balance between power and precision in their passing, and they exploited the gaps that Dublin offered them. Similarly they found their rhythm very well against Laois, albeit after the midlanders appeared to shut them down during the opening quarter.
So we’ve established that Galway are a little streaky – nothing new there. One could say the same in drawing the conclusion that Kilkenny aren’t bad, based on their showing in Wexford. However we’d stop short of saying that the Cats were awesome that day, simply because measures such as the hook/block/tackle count hinted at the fact that Wexford were not their usual effervescent selves that day. Players have clamoured to support Liam Dunne in his decision to cut Jack Guiney from the panel for disciplinary reasons, but only the most naïve of Slaneysiders could deny that his absence is sorely felt in a team where scoring forwards aren’t as plentiful as they’d like.
Call it a hunch, but our gut feeling is that Wexford were mentally beaten before taking to the field in Nowlan Park, and that Kilkenny were made look a lot better than they are. Galway will be wired for this one and if they can deliver a performance, they could go a long way. They’re worth a punt here.
1 point win Galway at 11/4 with Ladbrokes and Skybet