This Sunday sees the novel pairing of Dublin and Galway in the Under 21 final. Galway are regularly strong at this grade although prior to their win in 2005 their last victory had been 1996, Dublin on the other hand are appearing in the final for the first time since 1973.
Dublin recieved a boost during the week with the news that Paedar Carton’s suspension was lifted, although the GAA weren’t too happy with that and were trying to appeal it. Other than that they’ve made one change from their semi final victory over Derry with Sean Durkin coming into the team at half forward. They’ll be hoping that star midfielder John McCaffrey can last the full game given that he’s been struggling with a groin injury most of the year.
Galway’s captain Kevin Hynes is a doubtful starter following a calf injury he picked up in their semi final win over Cork.
Galway have the experience of that very testing game against Cork to stand to them and if Joe Canning and Kerril Wade are in top form they could spoil Dublin hurling’s big day, on the other hand if the Dubs get a great all round team effort and a strong show of support in Croke Park they could well pull it off.
It would certainly be a huge boost to hurling in the capital and offer hope that Dublin might even produce a strong senior team in a few years to challenge Kilkenny in Leinster.
For a prediction though I’m expecting Canning and Wade to do damage and Galway to win by 5 points.
All Ireland Hurling Championship Betting
Club Final Preview
Martin Breheny’s Championship preview