Tipp the only real challengers to Kilkenny – John Martin
ANTRIM got a look at who they want to avoid in the qualifiers on Sunday when Limerick pushed Tipp all the way at Semple Stadium. It was one of those Munster championship games that brings out the hypocrite in me.
I like to give out about how the Munster Council holds hurling to ransom with its sacred cow argument, which as everyone knows is in reality a cash cow argument, but Sunday’s game well and truly announced that the 2012 championship has now begun.
Nothing in either code that has transpired over the previous few weekends set the pulses racing quite like the fare on show in Semple. The result went as expected, but few predicted the manner of Tipp’s win.
It also confirmed what everybody already knew – Tipp are realistically the only side that have a hope of stopping Kilkenny from winning title number 34. Limerick now join Antrim and Carlow in the qualifiers, with the losers from this weekend’s three games between Dublin and Laois, Offaly and Wexford, and Galway and Westmeath.
The Wexford-Offaly clash is the hardest to predict out of the three games. Offaly are strong favourites with home advantage but championship games between the two sides are always close. Offaly have to go back to 2000 for their last championship win over the Model men and an upset could be on the cards.
Antrim put 6-21 past Laois in a challenge game at the weekend so that can’t augur well for their clash with Dublin, while Westmeath don’t have the surprise element against Galway this year.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday May 31. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent or, for only 90p, purchase the online copy by clicking here