As we bid farewell to 2018, it’s almost impossible to guess who will be lifting the Liam MacCarthy next year but we want you to predict your winner anyway.
Not many would have thought Limerick would be the team celebrating come All Ireland final day but with the standard in hurling rising year-on-year, the competition is fiercer than ever.
The newly installed round robin games last year led to some of the best hurling games we have seen in years and with the kinks ironed out in 2019, games can only get better. Limerick’s victory in August will have inspired other teams, considered to be outside the “big three”.
So, will it be:
Only Kilkenny have managed back-to-back All Ireland’s in the last decade but this Limerick side seem like a team who love to rip up the script and forge their own path. With their unwavering belief, strong-willed management and a young team, can they be successful again in 2019?
Galway will, no doubt, still be kicking themselves for the manner in which they performed in the All Ireland final but let’s not forget the amount of games they had to get through before reaching that point. They have one of the strongest squads in the country and will be seeking revenge next year.
You can never look at potential All Ireland winners without considering Kilkenny. They may have only reached the quarter-finals in 2018 but you can guarantee that they will want to regain the Leinster crown and push forward in 2019. With Brian Cody still at the helm and young players more developed, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
The Premier County will be very disappointed with 2018. A poor start and an unforgiving schedule saw them exit Munster with barely a whimper. Yet, let’s not forget the talent that flows through the squad, especially with the All-Ireland winning U21 team emerging onto the senior scene. Returning manger, Liam Sheedy will know exactly how to get the best out of his players.
Cork have won an All Ireland in every single decade since the beginning of the competition, and if they are to continue that trend, they will have to be victorious in 2019. Let’s not forget that this team are back-to-back Munster champions, which is no mean feat. They have stumbled at the semi-final block too often in recent times and will be looking to rectify that next year.
The Banner county came agonisingly close to a place in the All Ireland final this year and were the only team to beat Limerick. You would imagine that those experiences will stand to them. They are littered with talent and as they showed in Croke Park, they do not lack heart. If they can iron out the few mistakes that saw them miss out this year, there’s no reason why they couldn’t lift the Liam MacCarthy in 2019.
Or will it be someone else? Choose your All Ireland winner 2019 below. The draw for next year’s Leinster and Munster championships can be found here.