27 Dresses for Galway
The other night my lovely wife was watching one of those awful chick flicks that I found myself caught up in. 27 dresses is all about the perennial bridesmaid who always has to watch others have their big day hoping against hope that her big day will come along soon.
It could be easily adapted for Galway hurling fans. Hurling’s greatest day has come and gone 27 times since Galway was the belle of the ball. Fans have had to watch friends and families from other counties enjoy their All-Ireland victories and hope against hope someday, they’ll get that feeling for themselves. A county that would regard itself as one of the big four in terms when you look at the amount of All-Irelands have been won at minor, U-21 and club level but hurling’s largest prize has somehow been out of reach.
So are we in store for one of those happy endings just like in 27 dresses and every other chick flick the wife has forced upon me?
This is the sixth final that Galway have contested since Conor Hayes hoisted the Liam MacCarthy cup and the question punters have to ask is, are Galway better now than in 2012 and are Kilkenny worse? I believe yes on both fronts.
Galway are no longer reliant on Joe Canning with an excellent spread of scoring forwards. Kilkenny have lost marquee names in the last three seasons and with only three games under their belts this season, Galway are definitely entering this match more battle-hardened. For years Galway’s defence looked as solid as Ashley Madison’s security software and whilst Seamus Callanan did run amok in the semi-final, the Galway defence did keep the rest of forwards to only five points.
The match could be won and lost by how Anthony Cunningham deals with TJ Reid. No surprise he’s now 1/2 to be crowned hurler of the year as he has taken over the mantle from Henry Shefflin as Kilkenny’s greatest weapon.
This is a betting column and the idea to make a profit in betting is to bet when the odds are in your favour. I tipped Galway at 9/4 against Tipperary and 11/10 against Cork as both times I believed their chances of victory on both occasions were superior than the odds reflected. 9/4 implies a bookmaker believes they have a 30% chance of victory. Against Kilkenny I consider it closer to 25% which means I think Galway should be 3/1. Now this may be a betting column but I’m not going to tip up Kilkenny to win in a Galway publication.
For those that want to get a better bet on their heroes, I’d make a strong case to back Galway half-time “” full-time at 9/2. If Galway are going to win, it will be from the front. Getting a strong start, leading and holding on. I cannot see a come from behind win against the Cats on Sunday.
70-minute match odds: Galway 9/4, Draw 15/2, Kilkenny 4/9.
To lift cup: Galway 15/8, Kilkenny 4/11.
Speaking of come from behind wins against the Cats, there is one Galway team that can certainly do it and yet the minors are still considered underdogs again this weekend against Tipperary at 7/4. They deserve a civic reception win or lose on Monday for the guts they’ve shown in both semi-final matches and hopefully they’ll get over the line on Sunday.
The maroon double is 7/1 that Galway lift both All-Irelands this weekend. As for Mayo v Dublin replay. I made a strong case why Dublin would win last week only for a late collapse. Diarmuid Connolly will be a huge loss to Dublin but Mayo will miss Joe McQuillan more. I’d keep the faith with the Dubs again on Saturday. Match odds: Dublin 4/5, Mayo 11/8, Draw 15/2.