28 Sept 2022

Liam Cronin on the key questions ahead of Limerick and Kilkenny All-Ireland hurling final

Liam Cronin on the key questions ahead of Limerick and Kilkenny All-Ireland hurling final

Liam Cronin on the Ardscoil Ris sideline

CAPPAMORE native Liam Cronin is perhaps best known across Limerick for his role in the rise to prominence of hurling in Ardscoil Ris.

Cronin is a former Clare senior hurling coach and for the last two years worked under Mattie Kenny's Dublin senior hurlers.

Closer to home, Cronin is the current Mungret senior hurling manager - winning the Limerick Premier IHC last season.

Cronin answers four key questions ahead of Sunday's Croke Park showdown between Limerick and Kilkenny.

What are your thoughts on the All-Ireland final being played at the earlier date of July 17?

I can understand the reasons behind it, in particular giving the club player that bit more certainty around championship fixtures and also having the month of August for club championship. But I think there are further adjustments that still need to be made to the inter county schedule.

What are the key head-to-heads and match-ups in Sunday's final?

There will be fantastic battles all over the field. The biggest one for me will be Huw Lawlor v Aaron Gillane. Aaron had another brilliant game in the semi final scoring 6pts from play off Daithi Burke and is the championship’s top scorer from play heading into the final. Lawlor for me is up there as one of the best full backs in the game at the moment.

How will the two-week build-up to the final impact on team preparation compared to the traditionally longer build-up? 

I think at this stage management teams and players have the two week lead in really well fine tuned. Both teams would of had a plan in place that would have kicked in to action as soon as they got over the line in their respective semi finals. Recovery, analysis, keeping players that have had a lot of game time ticking over, getting an extra two weeks of work in to key players returning from injury, will all be part of it.

Which side will win Sunday's final and why?

Limerick, by the smallest of margins! Use of the ball in possession will be a key focus area. If Limerick can transition from defence to attack efficiently against intense Kilkenny pressure this will allow them to play the game on their terms. Diarmaid Byrnes’ ability to score frees from distance could be a big asset as Kilkenny try and stop the Limerick attack at source.

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