Monday 11 December 2017

Glynn and De Búrca get call-ups as Galway and Waterford reveal their hands for All Ireland final

Galway and Waterford make one change each for eagerly-anticipated All-Ireland hurling final showdown

Waterford's Noel Connors and Tadhg de Búrca and (inset) Johnny Glynn
Waterford's Noel Connors and Tadhg de Búrca and (inset) Johnny Glynn
At 6’4”, Glynn adds to the physical presence of an already powerful Galway attack Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Galway and Waterford each make one change from their semi-final teams for tomorrow's All-Ireland hurling final which, for the first time since 1996, does not include Kilkenny, Tipperary or Cork.

Tadhg de Búrca, who missed Waterford's win over Cork due to suspension, returns to the half-back line in place of Conor Gleeson, who is ruled out through suspension after being sent off late in the semi-final.

Galway have named Jonathan Glynn in their starting line-up after he came on in the third quarter against Tipperary in the semi-final.

Glynn played in the 2015 All-Ireland final against Kilkenny but has spent much of the last two years in America.

However, he returned home this summer to help Galway's drive for an All-Ireland title and, after impressing against Tipperary, has earned Micheál Donoghue's trust for a starting slot on a very experienced team.

The Ardrahan man has been named at left half-forward, with Joseph Cooney moving to the right wing. Cathal Mannion has been allocated the No 15 berth, with Conor Cooney at full-forward.

Niall Burke's demotion will come as a disappointment but he is likely to be deployed in the second half along with Jason Flynn, who is also unlucky to lose out on a starting spot.

At 6'4", Glynn adds to the physical presence of an already powerful Galway attack.

It suggests that Donoghue is planning an aerial war against a Waterford defence which will welcome the return of De Búrca.

Galway's power in the air has been very important in a season which they turned around when recovering from a 10-point deficit against Waterford in the Allianz League quarter-final.

They won by three points before going on to win the final, prior to setting out on successful run in Leinster where they took the title for a second time.

Derek McGrath has restored De Búrca to No 5 but he is likely to play in the centre, with Kieran Bennett replacing the suspended Gleeson at midfield.

Bennett, who made an impressive championship debut against Cork in the semi-final, will join Jamie Barron in what is likely to be a very packed area.

Waterford are bidding for their third All-Ireland title, having won the previous two in 1948 and 1959.

They have reached the final only twice since then, losing to Kilkenny in 1963 and in 2008, when they suffered a humiliating 23-point defeat.

Then, as now, they reached the final via the qualifiers, but were demolished by Kilkenny, who won the third leg of an All-Ireland four-timer, they completed a year later.

Galway won the last of their four titles in 1988 and have since lost six finals (1990-1993-2001-2005-2012 (replay) 2015), a dismal run which supporters hope will end tomorrow.

Galway have never beaten Waterford in the championship, losing all ten games by an average margin of ten points.

Their most recent championship clash was in 2011 when Waterford won an All-Ireland quarter-final by ten points. Galway are also involved in the minor final, taking on Cork (1.15). Galway last won the title two years ago.

Cork's last success was in 2001 when they won the title for the 18th time with a team captained by Tomás O'Leary who later went to become a multi-capped international rugby star.

Irish Independent

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