All-Ireland winner Damien Fitzhenry gives the Paddy Power Blog his exclusive insight on the All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Galway.
Kilkenny have played two games against Galway now, they’ve lost the Leinster Final and drawn the All-Ireland Final, so it’s a huge plus for Galway going into this game. But it could be the thing that Brian Cody will harp on about for the last two or three weeks. Let’s get out there and have a look at this team and see what Galway can do because we have to change things around and do things differently. Today could be the time that Kilkenny change.
They’ve let Galway take the lead in the last two games but they can reverse that and try to take the lead. Get Galway chasing them and see how Galway react and then see what happens. The sideline will win this game, how the tactics work for both teams is crucial.
Going back to the last game Galway got a great start and Kilkenny had, in fairness, some uncharacteristic wides just before half-time. They had four or five in row and that’s not the kind of Kilkenny team we’re used to. They looked a little bit rattled. They got their composure back at half-time and moved Henry Shefflin out to centre forward and he gave us an exhibition of hurling from centre-forward in the second half, the best that you will see for a long long time. He clawed them back into it single-handedly. But I don’t think that will happen on Sunday.
For Kilkenny to prosper they’re going to have to have at least a better showing from three or four of their forwards which they didn’t have the last day. The pressure will be on them slightly but that’s when they’ll be at their best.
The game that Galway play is pure hard work. Their mantra is fight for every ball, keep moving, keep going, if it’s not there you have to work and work and work. But your body will only let you work so much.
I have tipped Galway the whole way along but that was their day three weeks ago and this will be a different Kilkenny team that turns up. Kilkenny will come out on top on Sunday.
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