Friday 23 February 2018

The Punter's Platform: 'Mentally Galway are fine? That will come back to haunt you!'

23 April 2017; Galway and Tipperary players line up before the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final match between Galway and Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
23 April 2017; Galway and Tipperary players line up before the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Final match between Galway and Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Conor Neville

On the Punter's Platform this week, our tipsters were despairing at the paucity of even money or close to even money encounters in the inter-county championship. A sorry commentary on the competitiveness of the All-Ireland championships.

As Johnny Ward noted, the county system as it currently exists was bequeathed to us by snooty British civil servants in Whitehall. Plummy voiced knights of the realm with a poor grasp of the Irish language, probably.

Therefore, it is strange that the national body that remains most faithful to their flawed handiwork is the GAA, an organisation which is, to many suspicious unionists, synonymous with Irish nationalism.

And thus, hundreds of years later, the only fun to be had in tipping on the early rounds of the football championships is on the handicap.

The closest thing the GAA championships offers to an interesting clash this weekend is the Galway-Dublin Leinster hurling championship match on Sunday.

A side-effect of Cork's shock win over Tipperary last weekend is that Galway - lamentably still without a senor All-Ireland since 1988 - have been installed as favourites for the Liam McCarthy Cup.

They are six-point favourites to beat Dublin in Tullamore this weekend.

This prompted a disagreement between our presenter, Galway's Johnny Ward and John Brennan of the Sunday World. The former blithely predicted a "routine" Galway victory.

John Brennan: "Galway don't do routine! They do up and they do down"

Johnny Ward: "They don't anymore, John. Mark my words, Galway will hurl well in every game this year..."

John Brennan: "Were you asleep during the first half of the Waterford League match?"

Ultimately, all agreed that Galway should triumph on Sunday but aren't sure whether they'll top the handicap.

Brennan, while sceptical that Galway have banished their demons reminds us that there is "half a decent Dublin team" in exile.

"If Galway bring the same physicality they brought against Tipperary, they will literally blow Dublin away. If Dublin had all their players out, I'd give them a serious chance of turning them over."

Standout GAA Bets of weekend:

5/2 Westmeath hurlers to beat Offaly

8/11  Tyrone to score first against Derry

The Punter's Platform is in association with Ladbrokes and please gamble responsibly.

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