The dust has barely settled on the 2014 Senior Hurling Championship but already the GAA are preparing for next year’s campaign and there’s good reason to be excited. Ashling Dalton previews three of the most eagerly awaited clashes from the draw for next year’s championship.
The draws in both hurling and Gaelic football were made last Thursday night and it is safe to say that there were goosebumps raised on the arms of hurling fans everywhere when the match-ups were made. Here are three games that have top drawer billing written all over them.
Clare vs Limerick.
This game will generate major interest from all over the hurling community. The amount of questions hanging over both sides is serious. Can Clare bounce back from a disappointing 2014? Will they target a Munster crown? Can Limerick build on a positive year which saw them push Kilkenny to the brink?
The prospect of meeting Tipperary in the Munster semi-final will be added motivation for both teams. The added game and the momentum that goes along with it, will no doubt be an added advantage.
Cork vs Waterford
Considering the recent history between these two sides, it’s no wonder people are looking forward to next year’s instalment. The thrilling draw they played out was top-notch with Austin Gleeson’s goal being the stand-out score.
Both teams had their season cut dismally short with Cork suffering a humiliating defeat to Tipperary, while Waterford are slowly making progress under Derek McGrath; more will be expected of them next year. As with Cork, they need to push on and win an All-Ireland under JBM. They were halfway there by achieving a Munster title, so they can’t be too far off.
Dublin vs Galway
A must win game for both. Dublin and Galway share one common trait and that is inconsistency. Neither teams can say that they ever had two competitive campaigns back-to-back.
They will need to start next year, and this match would be a good place to start. They both must have breathed a sigh of relief at avoiding Kilkenny in the semi-finals, so whoever wins this will carry huge momentum going into the Leinster final.
Ashling Dalton, Pundit Arena.
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