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Tommy Walsh | Three teams can...
Hurling

Tommy Walsh | Three teams can win the Liam MacCarthy in 2020

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

19:33 25 Oct 2020

Tommy Walsh believes that Limerick may be favourites for the men's senior hurling championship this year, after they blew away Clare in Thurles.

The Tullaroan man thinks that three sides stand out for the cup this year, after Limerick overcame Clare 0-36 to 1-23.

"I would say that if you are looking at the bookies or the GAA public, you would be thinking Limerick, Tipperary and Kilkenny as top three," Walsh said of the favourites for this year's title.

"Limerick are a big, physical team and have the panel as well, with the games coming. They were missing two from their backline today and were able to put Barry Nash at corner-back, Dan Morrissey at full-back and bring in Paddy O'Loughlin.

"If that was anybody else, they would be in trouble."

Tommy Walsh on who can win

As for the other two sides in the mix, Walsh ran the rule on who would lift the Liam MacCarthy.

"Look at Tipperary - they have a team where all their star players are hitting the 30-31 age bracket. They don't want to be playing ten matches in a season, they want to play one and get fresh again.

"They are going into a Munster semi-final next weekend; for them to win an All-Ireland through the front door, they only have to win four matches. That would much more suit their age profile and what they have to do.

"This pandemic is probably suiting them from a mental side of things. Nobody is speaking about 1965 and them doing a double [...] that will suit them.

"As for Kilkenny, you have the big men - T.J. [Reid], Colin Fennelly and Walter Walsh - big, strong men. This time of year should suit them."

Strength in depth

If Limerick benefit from strength in depth, their opponents today have the opposite problem, according to Walsh.

"I think Clare didn't have the panel the last couple of years - I believe it was four of their 2013 All Ireland-winning team playing today.

"They can't do with missing their best players. John Conlon has been in Hurler of the Year form the last couple of years; Peter Duggan has been outstanding from frees - he's out touring Australia. Two big, strong men.

"Podge Collins isn't playing. Colm Gavin does the sweeping; a midfield dynamo that does the Tony Kenny/Cian Lynch performance."

Man of the match

As for Tommy's man-of-the-match, he went for  a Limerick man, but with honourable mention for Clare's initial right corner-forward.

"It is very hard to look past Tony Kelly, with 17 points and eight from open play.

"My outstanding contributor today though, because they won comfortably in the end, was Gearoid Hegarty. He can win the ball short, he can win the ball long; puck-outs.

"In the first half, he must have run from the middle of the field, down along the side, flicked the ball over a Clare defender and hand passed to Graeme Mulcahy or Peter Casey.

"He was able to do that and then score five points himself from play!"

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Clare GAA Kilkenny Limerick Tipperary Tommy Walsh

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