| 15.4°C Dublin

‘I think there's a strong possibility they’ll meet in the final’ – John Mullane’s Championship predictions 

Close

Limerick manager John Kiely lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup following his side's win over Waterford last December. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Limerick manager John Kiely lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup following his side's win over Waterford last December. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Limerick manager John Kiely lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup following his side's win over Waterford last December. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The favourites may not be in action but it’s still a welcome return to summer Championship hurling for the first time since 2019 this weekend.

It will be an eerie start as Ireland crawls back to normality, with games taking place in front of a maximum of 200 fans, unlike the scenes from the continent we’ve become accustomed to from Euro 2020. However, there’s still hope that by the time the All-Ireland series rolls around, we’ll be back into the thousands with reports that 30,000 may be allowed into August’s All-Ireland finals.

In the meantime, there’s the small matter of the provincial titles to get our teeth into with the pretenders to the thrones in Munster and Leinster getting the sliotar rolling over the next two days. Dublin against an Antrim team on an upward curve should give an indication of how the Ulster side are developing, while after a so-so league campaign, Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford will be primed to avoid a banana-skin against Cheddar Plunkett’s Laois.

It’s in Munster where the big clash of the weekend takes place as last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Waterford take on Clare but for Deise legend John Mullane, his native county’s conquerors of last December are, once again, the team to beat, despite their own travails during the league.

“I'm gonna go for Limerick to win Munster. I just think we were getting carried away with one or two of their league results,” Mullane said, speaking on The Throw-In, Independent.ie’s GAA podcast in association with Bord Gais Energy.

“John Kiely and Paul Kinnerk, they know what they're after winning title after title over the course of the last three years.

“I'm really looking forward to that game against Cork next weekend. I just still think they're the team to beat. They hold all the aces and I think they'll win Munster again.”

It’s a different story in Leinster where last year’s finalists lie in wait for the winners of this week’s games.

GAA Newsletter

Exclusives from under the skin of the GAA, from Ireland’s largest and best GAA team; Brolly, Mullane, Hogan and Ó Sé, to name but a few.

This field is required

For Mullane, he envisages a changing of the guard after Kilkenny upset the City of the Tribes last November to regain the Bob O'Keeffe Cup.

“Galway, for me, are clear favourites to win Leinster,” he explained.

“Going on what my eyes are after seeing the last couple of weekends in the National League, I think it's going to take one hell of a performance by either a Kilkenny, a Dublin or a Wexford if they're going to take Galway down.

“So I'm going to go for Galway.”

While the straight knockout nature of the Senior Football Championship means that it will be a case of ‘one and done’ for half of the sides in action this weekend, their hurling counterparts will at least get a second chance.

But while the backdoor will provide the potential for someone outside of the provincial champions to upset the applecart over the course of the summer, Mullane isn’t looking outside of his predictions for provincial glory to battle it out for Liam McCarthy come August.

“I think there's a strong possibility both of them [Limerick and Galway] will meet in the final then,” he finished.

“I think all the focus in Limerick... back-to-back has never been done before in Limerick and I think Kiely and Kinnerk realise they've a special group of players.

“They're very well grounded, this bunch of players and there's a realisation there that they want to win as much as they can when the going is good.

“And the going is good now at the present moment in time in Limerick and I think they're going to achieve back-to-back. I'm going to go for Limerick to win the All Ireland.”


Most Watched





Privacy