As part of a PA Roundtable ahead of the All Ireland Hurling Final between Galway and Limerick, we spoke to Dublin hurler Liam Rushe about his predictions for the titanic Croke Park tussle.
1. Who will be Galway’s key man and why?
Liam Rushe: Padraic Mannion. He has provided fantastic cover to his full-back line all year and places his passes forward more accurately than any of his teammates.
He is also likely to go up against Limerick’s biggest aerial threat in Gearóid Hegarty. Winning this battle will be an important marker for both teams.
2. Who will be Limerick’s key man and why?
LR: Declan Hannon. It will be interesting to see how Limerick set up to neutralise Joe Canning. Either Hannon will stay tight and follow or they will assign a marker and let Declan operate as a sweeper.
There will be a huge onus on him to launch attacks from deep if so.
3. Galway’s experience v Limerick youth, how much of a factor will it be?
LR: It’s a marginal advantage for Galway having dealt with All Ireland final distractions previously but Limerick have proven themselves in enough big games over the past two years that I don’t anticipate a collapse.
4. Million dollar question, who will lift the Liam McCarthy?
LR: Galway if they can straighten out their shooting. If they leave Limerick in the tie à la the semi-final they won’t be so lucky.
5. Predictions for Hurler of the Year and Young Hurler of the Year?
LR: Padraic Mannion (Galway) and Mark Coleman (Cork).
6. New hurling format, success or not?
LR: A roaring success. However, I think it needs to be tweaked so that nobody plays four games in a row next year. It gives an unfair advantage to the rested team.