The eyes of the hurling world will be fixed on Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon, as Limerick and Kilkenny face off in the Allianz League Division 1 final. With the start of the championship around the corner, what can we expect to see on Lee-side this weekend?
What will Derek Lyng have learned from 2022 All-Ireland final?
Derek Lyng will be looking at his predecessor Brian Cody’s plan for last year’s All-Ireland final with interest this week.
The Cats did a lot of things right last July at Croke Park, and pushed the Treaty all the way.
They significantly negated the influence of Limerick’s defensive lynchpins by pushing up, with TJ Reid giving them particular headaches.
However, the trade-off that day was allowing space in front of Gearoid Hegarty. The 2020 Hurler of the Year dominated Paddy Deegan, contributing 1-5 from play.
Lyng will be looking to develop the Nore-siders tactics from that day, while also keeping tabs on Hegarty.
Are Limerick getting close to their peak?
After Sunday’s final, Limerick will have just two weeks until their Munster Championship opener away to Waterford.
After they hit the ground running at a frightening pace in last year’s provincial championship opener at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the Treaty will be looking to do similar this season.
One fortnight out from their Déise date, Kiely will want his team to ramp things up. Their league displays have been of a higher standard in 2023 compared to previous seasons, but expect a crescendo this Sunday.
Kilkenny to put everything into this?
Kilkenny’s opening championship assignment will be at home to Westmeath on April 22, with Galway visiting Nowlan Park on April 30. Lyng and Co will have a circle around the latter date, but there is significant breathing room in the wake of the league final.
The Cats have always treated the springtime competition with the height of respect, and this year is no different. With the majority of their players now fit and firing, Kilkenny will be going out all guns blazing to lay down a marker ahead of the championship.