Former Kilkenny hurler Eoin Larkin gives his thoughts ahead of the weekend’s hurling.
Handling expectation has been Galway’s problem for a long time now. They often seem to put in the big performances, and then the Galway people start to really back them and expect a big championship. But I think it’ll be different this year. Micheal Donoghue has built a nice team now.
But I think it could be different this year. Micheal Donoghue has built a nice team now.
I’m expecting that they’ll have a good run in the championship. They should get over Dublin easily, for starters.
They will be a serious threat to Kilkenny in the Leinster final, if the Cats reach the decider.
Mentally they’re a lot better than Galway teams of the past. They’ve no baggage. They’re free to express themselves, in a way which we haven’t seen from other teams in recent years.
I think Dublin will struggle tomorrow. I wasn’t impressed at all with how they played in the League.
They’ve lost some great hurlers, including the likes of Danny Sutcliffe and Mark Schutte. Con O’Callaghan who was playing with Cuala is with the footballers.
The best hurlers in the county aren’t playing with the county hurling team, and therein lies the problem.
With so many inexperienced lads, it’s hard to see how they can compete against a Galway team at the peak of their powers.
Banana skin for Wexford?
I don’t think there’ll be an upset in this one. If Wexford are at the place where everyone thinks they are, they should be winning this comfortably.
I do expect Laois to give them a good battle. They’re really fighting to get up there with the top teams.
Davy Fitzgerald’s ban won’t affect them. I believe he’s not supposed to be at any trainings, but who is enforcing that ban? He’s surely still at those trainings, driving things on.
He might not be on the sideline tomorrow, but he’ll have the lads wired up.
He’ll be using this as a motivation for the lads – “everyone is against us, let’s put our heads down and prove everyone wrong.”
I’m sure that’s the angle he’ll be coming at it from.
There was a lot said during the week about a column written that Offaly have far too much tradition to lose to Westmeath.
Tradition goes out the window when you cross the white line. I feel if Westmeath play to the best of their ability, they could topple Offaly. The Faithful are really over-reliant on Shane Dooley. If he has an off-day, they could struggle for scores.
The Lake County are rank outsiders with the bookmakers, and could be worth a few bob.
Eoin Larkin, Pundit Arena.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we look ahead to the weekend’s GAA action, hearing from Shane Barrett about Dublin’s preparations for the Galway showdown.