SHC final preview: Tribesmen to edge it

August 17, 2018

Limerick's Tom Morrissey and Gearoid McInerney of Galway during the Allianz HL Division 1B clash at Pearse Stadium, Salthill.
©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

Can Galway make their experience from last year count on Sunday or will the rarity of an All-Ireland SHC final in August help Limerick to spring an upset at Croke Park? Here's our preview:

 

Sunday, August 19th

All-Ireland SHC final

Galway v Limerick, Croke Park, 3.30pm - RTE/Sky

The biggest day on the hurling calendar is upon us and few can argue that these two haven't fully justified their path to find themselves just 70 minutes from claiming the sweetest success of them all.

Galway face Limerick in the All-Ireland SHC final for the first time since 1980 and it's the Treaty men that will be heading to Croke Park looking to rip up the script and deliver their county's first Liam MacCarthy in 45 long years.

To do that, one would have to expect to see the likes of Aaron Gillane and Seamus Flanagan shooting out the lights for the Shannonsiders come 3.30pm on Sunday and the good news from their perspective is that John Kiely is reporting a clean bill of health for this decider.

Galway cannot say the same at this moment in time with question marks still hanging over the fitness of key defender Gearoid McInerney.

The Tribe centre-back suffered a calf injury during the drawn semi-final against Clare, causing him to miss the replay, and while reports have been positive this week, many will wonder whether or not the Oramnore-Maree man will be 100 per cent come the big day.

The same goes for fellow defender John Hanbury after reports during the week that the sticky corner-back could be set to miss the clash with Limerick as a result of the ankle injury he limped off with during the replay win over the Banner men.

Hanbury would likely be assigned to Gillane if picked to start on Sunday, but if not then 20-year-old Sean Loftus is expected to be handed a starting berth instead.

At the other end, the All-Ireland champions are all set with Joe Canning and Cathal Mannion again firing on all cylinders, while inside men Jonathan Glynn and Conor Cooney are continuing to carry as deadly a threat as ever.

That front line for the holders has slaughtered some top defences already this summer and is expected to be where the game will be won and lost on Sunday.

It's what gets the west siders the nod here.

Verdict: Galway

Follow all the action from Sunday's All-Ireland SHC and MHC finals on our live match tracker.



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