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Donnchadh O Conaill

Opinion: Is Higher Scoring Rates Affecting Hurling Negatively?

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 10/7/2016 Waterford vs Tipperary Tipperary celebrate with the trophy

Last July a pall of gloom hung over inter-county hurling. The spectre of sweepers and massed defences supposedly threatened the very future of the sport. The entire championship to that point felt like a series of formalities before Kilkenny’s inevitable victory over Tipperary (or if we were lucky, Galway) in the All-Ireland final. Of course events didn’t transpire that way …

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The Case For Waterford To Drop The Sweeper On Sunday Vs Cork

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A, Walsh Park, Co. Waterford 19/2/2017 Waterford vs Tipperary Waterford's Tadgh de Burca Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Even as the hurricane Cork brewed up against Tipperary was subsiding, warnings could be heard that Waterford would prove a very different proposition. The Munster quarter-final was exceptionally high-scoring and open, while the feeling was that Waterford would prefer a much tighter and more physical game. After all, they have gained a deserved reputation as a team who place a …

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Can Waterford Make The Breakthrough?

Waterford have undoubtedly made progress this year. Granted, they haven’t won anything or progressed any further in the championship, and one could argue that over the season as a whole their performances have not exceeded what they achieved in 2015. But, championship hurling is only partly about excellence over a season – it is at least as much a matter …

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Waterford: The Changes That Made A Difference

Kilkenny vs Waterford Waterford supporters Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 7/8/2016

Waterford changed their formation for last Sunday’s semi-final. They took a far more positive approach and had a real go at Kilkenny. They expressed themselves and took on the Cats. The result was arguably their best display under Derek McGrath, and by far the best match of 2016. It is worth asking how Waterford departed from their previous over defensive mindset, …

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Is Hurling In Danger Of Being Swept Away?

GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 9/8/2015.Kilkenny vs Waterford.Waterford's Tadhg de Burca.Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

It has been a bad couple of weeks for hurling teams playing with extra defenders. Following a Munster final in which Tipperary rolled over Waterford as if they were nothing more than a speed bump, last Sunday saw Clare brusquely eliminated by Galway. PM O’Sullivan likened the Munster final to the Brexit vote, with opposing camps disputing the value of …

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