Galway hurling captain David Burke will have a keen interest in this Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final. The Tribesmen await the winners of Cork and Waterford.
But Burke has a feeling it’s the Rebels he will be facing in September.
Having advanced to their third All-Ireland final of the decade, after their dramatic win over Tipperary, confidence is high in the west.
Neither Cork nor Waterford have been winning All-Irelands in recent times. This would suggest that the Leinster champions are the most experienced side remaining in this year’s championship.
However, neither Cork nor Waterford will fear Galway. The confidence in Cork is something unique solely to the men from the south, while Waterford have never suffered defeat to Galway in championship hurling.
But speaking to GAA.ie, Burke feels that it’s advantage Cork going into Sunday’s game. Citing the loss of Tadhg de Búrca as a factor, the St Thomas man feels the Rebels are more balanced.
“There’ll be nothing in that as well, it will depend on the likes of Austin Gleeson, Kevin Moran, all of Waterford’s big players. I think Cork have a better balanced team on paper but it will be an interesting game nonetheless”
“Tadhg de Burca if he is missing that will affect the balance of their team a bit more but I think it could be in Cork’s favour going into the game.”
Burke also feels that the setting at GAA HQ will suit the Rebels’ style of play against a Waterford side who like to defend in large numbers.
“Croke Park suits their type of hurling as well and I don’t mind who we get but we will have to work really hard whoever we are playing against and we are excited to be in it and we realise we need to get the job done.”
Cork would certainly be most people’s favourites ahead of Sunday so not many will disagree with Burke’s prediction. That is course except those from the Déise.
Derek McGrath’s side are still holding out hope that the DRA will release Tadhg de Búrca to play. Should Cork win this Sunday it will be their fourth victory over the Déise in 2017. A little piece of trivia were sure Waterford would like to avoid.
And while Galway may feel that it’s finally their year, the feeling is certainly mutual on Leeside. Kieran Kingston has created a buzz in the county not seen for years. The hype will go through the roof should Cork emerge victorious this Sunday.
Kevin Daly, Pundit Arena
Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man where we previewed this weekends hurling, and debated whether football’s Super 8s is doomed to failure.