Tommy Walsh believes Cork have all the necessary attributes to beat Limerick in the All-Ireland hurling final, but does have the Treaty as slight favourites.
Cork will take on Limerick in their first All-Ireland final in eight years on Sunday after dispatching Kilkenny in style in extra time in their exhilarating semi-final clash.
While Limerick are strong favourites to claim their third All-Ireland hurling title in four years, Kilkenny legend Walsh told RTE that he believes Cork have a far better chance than most people think.
Tommy Walsh on Cork’s chances against Limerick.
“I wouldn’t even put it 60:40, I’d put it 55:45. That’s how close it is,” Walsh commented.
“Why? Because of the game Cork play. The way not to play Limerick is to take them on physically. Because they’re just too big. They’re all above 6’2, 6’3. They’ll soak you up. They’ll spit you back out.
“Cork have tools in their toolbox to take on this Limerick team that probably no-one else has at the moment. You take them on with speed and that’s what Cork have.
4 DAYS TO GO!!
Who will lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup? We find out in four days’ time as @OfficialCorkGAA and @LimerickCLG meet in the #GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final this Sunday at @CrokePark! #BestSeatInTheHouse pic.twitter.com/dOdZzjuj48
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 18, 2021
“They have troubled them in the past, Cork have, and this year [in Munster] it was only the goals coming at the right times for Limerick. Cork aren’t as far away from this Limerick team as people think and I think that’s because of their speed.
“In previous years, I don’t think their forwards had the work-rate to give themselves a chance of winning the All-Ireland but this year they do. I’d give them every chance of being there on Sunday.”
The Rebels aim to re-establish themselves as hurling heavyweights.
While Cork are the second most successful team in the history of the All-Ireland hurling championship behind Kilkenny, they have gone through a long barren run, having last been crowned the best team in the country in 2005.
The Rebels have been relatively successful in the Munster championship in that period of time, having won three provincial titles in the last eight years, they have been unable to translate that success over to the All-Ireland.
This season has seen Cork perform far better in the All-Ireland series than they did in the Munster championship, having been comfortably beaten by Limerick in their first game of the summer.
While Cork weren’t able to truly challenge Limerick on that occasion, Kieran Kingston’s side have been in flying form since then, and look better positioned to make the reigning All-Ireland champions sweat.