Today Limerick defeated Waterford in the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semi-final at Croke Park. This game was a thriller. I had grave fears that Waterford could lift their game sufficiently for the third week on the trot. After all these are amateur players. Limerick looked fresher and played a hard hitting direct brand of hurling. Waterford looked a little flat at times. As a Waterford supporter I am disappointed but nevertheless proud that Waterford fought to the bitter end. I congratulate Limerick and wish them well.
Limerick could trouble Kilkenny in the All Ireland Final. However Kilkenny are forewarned. Brian Cody the Kilkenny manager is as shrewd as an old fox and he will have drilled into the Kilkenny players the necessity to take nothing for granted.
Interesting questions arise. Will Limerick use a three man midfield? If so how will Cody counter this? Will Limerick's hard physical approach upset Kilkenny? Will Kilkenny's greater skill levels suffice? Will Kilkenny's lack of hard games tell against them?
On balance I think that Kilkennys more economical style is superior to the more physical approach of Limerick. It is less energy sapping and will leave Kilkenny as the fresher team in the last ten minutes. However Limerick could spring a surprise.
Overall this has been a wonderful year for hurling. Long may it continue.