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‘Every team is beatable, no matter what sport you are in,’ insists Déise star Jamie Barron

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Jamie Barron of Waterford with his PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month award for July at his home club The Nire-Fourmilewater in Ballymacarbry. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Jamie Barron of Waterford with his PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month award for July at his home club The Nire-Fourmilewater in Ballymacarbry. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Jamie Barron of Waterford with his PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month award for July at his home club The Nire-Fourmilewater in Ballymacarbry. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Jamie Barron has taken Limerick square on, fully believing them to be both mortal and fallible – and failed.

He has had a cut, felt their might, and yet has no doubt that no team – the reigning All-Ireland champions included – are invincible.

“I think every team is beatable, no matter what sport you are in,” says Barron, a sentiment that will resonate a little longer than usual in the world of GAA this week, given the deposition of the reigning All-Ireland football champions last Saturday.

“You see the best teams beaten all the time,” the Waterford dynamo adds. “To get at ’em, I am not sure. I think you have to mix it either way.”

Barron speaks exclusively in the context of the challenge facing Cork on Sunday, one his own team tried and failed in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Context is important in appraising and comparing potential upsets.

Where the Dublin footballers, once considered similarly unstoppable, looked like a team grinding to a halt this year, Limerick seem to be only just getting going.

“You have to shut down probably their big players,” says Barron, before quickly adding: “I know they have a lot of them.

“And then you have to attack, probably the best thing to do is go about your own game and try not to focus too much on them.

“You just have to go out there and give it your all for the 70 minutes. It’s not easy.

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“They are very well trained, well trained. As I said, they can play it long, they can play it short, they can run it, they can do it either way.”

Having started with comparable fury in that All-Ireland semi-final, Waterford were a point ahead at the first-half water break.

By the time the teams went in for half-time, Barron’s side were seven points down.

The second half, as Barron recalls now, was reduced to a contest played solely on Limerick’s terms.

“They could sit back when we were trying to attack,” he recalls.

“That sometimes separates the better teams from the teams that are trying to get to the level that they’re at.

“I think adaptability and how you can adapt in different games...you get things thrown at you in different games, you get teams hitting you hard, you get teams playing with sweepers and stuff like that.

“I think at this stage they’ve played against most of them and probably feel comfortable playing it whatever way they like at the moment, whatever you bring to them.

“That’s something you probably have to do, bring something different that they haven’t maybe been exposed to already.

“There’s not much at the moment that they probably haven’t seen but you have to bring something different and I’m sure Cork are probably planning something up there that they’ll try to take to them.”

And yet, as Barron acknowledges, there’s a world of difference between a team being beatable and them actually being beaten.

If he can, hypothetically at least, envisage the former, he is disinclined to predict the latter in the context of Sunday’s All-Ireland final.

“It’s hard to go away from them,” Barron admits.

“From their form over the last four years, since 2018, they’ve been the standout team in Ireland in that period.

“I must say I do think Cork are coming with something good there this year. They’ve played well and they’ve progressed well with each game.

“For the Dublin game, they were nip and tuck for a while and they pulled away.

“I think the last day against Kilkenny they showed how good they are when it went to extra time.

“I think Cork will probably pose them problems,” Barron adds, “but eventually I would be tipping Limerick to win it.”


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