Clare hurler Shane O’Donnell was on Friday’s OTB AM and spoke about the tactical battle set to take place between Limerick and Tipperary in the Munster Hurling Championship final on Sunday.
O’Donnell played and lost against both Tipperary and Limerick in the Munster Championship this year and said that while they are both very good they are also very different sides.
“Limerick are very tactically rigid. They set up as a very solid structure and it’s all about unlocking that structure. We would’ve beaten them last year once we got to grips with that structure and then we were walked over this year.
“Tipp are, well everyone’s talking about them for a reason, they’re playing very well. Their players are all on form. But listen, that [breaking down Limerick’s structure] will be the biggest challenge I’d imagine,” O’Donnell explained.
Tipperary have been in exemplary form so far in the Championship, winning four games from four. Limerick have been less consistent winning two and losing two, but having home advantage will give the All-Ireland champions a significant boost.
While Tipperary have plenty of great long-range shooters, Limerick’s style is sure to cause them problems as it did for O’Donnell and Clare when they came up against them earlier in the year.
“You find yourself just batting the ball against a wall sometimes. They set up so solid against the back, that unless you have a plan coming in that is working on the day, it’s very difficult to manoeuvre in the game. The natural movements the forwards would make, they’re locking them down because that’s obviously their game plan.
“It’ll be very tactical but if you can get on top of it [Limerick’s gameplan] you can get a lot of fruit from the work you’re putting in,” O’Donnell commented.
Tipperary did have success against Limerick two weeks ago when the sides played in Thurles and won by four points in the end. However, it’s been argued that both sides may have held something back for that game as a rematch was likely.
It has been suggested that these two teams may well play each other for a third time in the All-Ireland final, but O’Donnell wasn’t ruling out other sides yet.
“I definitely wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re going to walk through a Leinster team when it comes down to it.
“It’s definitely an interesting proposition alright at the weekend. They’re two very different teams when you’re playing against them,” O’Donnell said.
The two sides do battle at the LIT Gaelic Grounds at 2pm on Sunday in 2019’s Munster Hurling Championship final.