By Damien Fitzhenry | All-Ireland winner
Cork haven’t been overly impressive in their last few games, but they’re getting the job done and in that respect, they’re a lot like the Dublin senior football team. They’ve haven’t been outstanding, but they’re still winning the games and that’s a good sign. For a team not to be playing well and still winning is a big positive and Jimmy Barry Murphy is exactly the right man to get Cork into a position where they can win this All-Ireland Hurling semi-final.
Since that Leinster final, I’ve thought of Galway as likely All-Ireland champions. It was a performance of pure passion, work rate and absolute hunger. We haven’t seen the likes of it in Croke Park for a long, long time. The big question on everybody’s lips is ‘is this Galway team capable of producing another performance like that on Sunday?’ If they do, and if they start well, there is no way that this team will be beaten and I don’t think they’ll be beaten for the rest of the year. If their inconsistency comes to the fore once again, they’ll be very vulnerable.
The one thing you can say about Cork, if that they finish games very well. Jimmy Barry Murphy knew exactly what to do to get them over the line, so if they’re close heading into the last few minutes, they’ve got every chance. They’re a team that never know when they’re beaten so Galway will need to be half a dozen points or so clear of them or else they could be in for a fright in the last 10 minutes.
Cork are a dangerous side, but I’m sticking with the Tribesmen. If they recapture the form of the Leinster final, Cork won’t be able to handle them. This is a Cork team being built by Jimmy Barry Murphy for next year and the year after and they’ve already surpassed expectations for this year. Nailing my colours to the mast, Galway will win this and they’ll go on to win the All-Ireland. The odds of 3/1 look very good to me with only four teams left and by the end of next week, that’ll be down to two. They’ll be All-Ireland champions in September.