• Visual timeline of the shots and scores in the drawn final

    10:23 am 30.Sep.2012

    A drawn All-Ireland hurling final was long overdue, the last one having been between Kilkenny and Waterford in 1959. Like in all drawn matches, both sets of supporters wondered after whether their team could have edged victory. To help settle some of these debates I created this visual timeline of the shots and scores.

    One fascinating stat is that Kilkenny had 17 shots between the 26th minute and the 70th minute - all were on target (yielding 0-16) and one was saved by Skehill. That’s what I call accuracy.

    Roll on the replay.

  • The rookies of 2012

    7:45 pm 26.Sep.2012

    It’s that time of the year when I do my annual round-up of the championship newcomers. In 2012 80 players made their championship debuts, 2 more than last year. In fact there has been an upward trend over the past 4 years:

    Galway had most newcomers with 12 and the Tribesmen’s youth policy has paid off handsomely. We’ll find out soon whether it brings the ultimate prize.

    The full list of rookies is:

    Antrim (1)

    Carlow (10)

    Clare (7)

    Cork (5)

    Dublin (2)

    Galway (12)

    Kilkenny (4)

    Laois (7)

    Limerick (6)

    Offaly (2)

    Tipperary (1)

    Waterford (6)

    Westmeath (9)

    Wexford (8)

  • Top 2 most efficient scorers leave the game

    8:11 pm 7.Feb.2012

    In the last 24 hours, Lar Corbett and John Mullane have announced that they are leaving senior inter-county hurling. Mullane is taking an indefinite break but Corbett looks like he is hanging up his inter-county boots for good.

    Everyone knows that Corbett and Mullane are in the top echelon of hurling forwards but it acutally turns out that they are the top 2 in terms of scoring efficiency in championship hurling since 2004.

    What is scoring efficiency? Well if you scored 2 points in a 70 minute game, your efficiency would be 35 minutes between point.

    Since 2004, Lar has scored a point from play every 16.12 minutes and Mullane every 17.56 minutes.

    Here’s hoping we see one or both playing in 2012…..

    The top 20 in terms of scoring efficiency from play are:

    1. 16.12 mins between point Lar Corbett Tipperary (25-55 scored in 2096 mins/34 matches)
    2. 17.56 mins between point John Mullane Waterford (11-112 scored in 2546 mins/38 matches)
    3. 17.79 mins between point Joe Canning Galway (8-43 scored in 1192 mins/18 matches)
    4. 17.95 mins between point Seamus Callanan Tipperary (8-33 scored in 1023 mins/19 matches)
    5. 18.19 mins between point Gareth Johnson Down (6-24 scored in 764 mins/11 matches)
    6. 18.51 mins between point Eddie Brennan Kilkenny (18-54 scored in 1999 mins/34 matches)
    7. 19.16 mins between point Niall Healy Galway (11-24 scored in 1092 mins/23 matches)
    8. 19.40 mins between point Damien Hayes Galway (18-65 scored in 2309 mins/34 matches)
    9. 19.41 mins between point Paudie O’Sullivan Cork (5-14 scored in 563 mins/13 matches)
    10. 19.89 mins between point Pat Horgan Cork (5-31 scored in 915 mins/17 matches)
    11. 20.01 mins between point Henry Shefflin Kilkenny (15-77 scored in 2441 mins/37 matches)
    12. 20.67 mins between point Shane Dooley Offaly (5-28 scored in 889 mins/18 matches)
    13. 20.69 mins between point Eoin Kelly Tipperary (14-80 scored in 2524 mins/37 matches)
    14. 20.78 mins between point Dan Shanahan Waterford (21-35 scored in 2036 mins/35 matches)
    15. 21.00 mins between point Barry Nugent Clare (3-23 scored in 672 mins/18 matches)
    16. 21.46 mins between point Aidan Fogarty Kilkenny (7-25 scored in 987 mins/21 matches)
    17. 21.68 mins between point Tony Griffin Clare (9-44 scored in 1539 mins/24 matches)
    18. 21.78 mins between point Alan Kerins Galway (7-34 scored in 1198 mins/22 matches)
    19. 23.49 mins between point Neil Ronan Cork (3-26 scored in 822 mins/20 matches)
  • Top 20 scorers from play since 2004

    6:08 pm 30.Sep.2011

    I was asked on Twitter today whether John Mullane is close to becoming the all-time top scorer from play in championship hurling. Unfortunately I don’t have all the records to answer that question definitively. What I can say is the Mullane is the top scorer from play since 2004. The top 20 scorers from play for the past 8 championship seasons are:

    1. 145 points John Mullane Waterford
    2. 130 points Lar Corbett Tipperary
    3. 122 points Eoin Kelly Tipperary
    4. 122 points Henry Shefflin Kilkenny
    5. 119 points Damien Hayes Galway
    6. 108 points Eddie Brennan Kilkenny
    7. 98 points Dan Shanahan Waterford
    8. 83 points Eoin Kelly Waterford
    9. 82 points Brian Carroll Offaly
    10. 81 points Niall Gilligan Clare
    11. 80 points Ben O’Connor Cork
    12. 71 points Tony Griffin Clare
    13. 68 points Rory Jacob Wexford
    14. 68 points Martin Comerford Kilkenny
    15. 67 points Joe Canning Galway
    16. 67 points Niall Moran Limerick
    17. 66 points Eoin Larkin Kilkenny
    18. 61 points Jerry O’Connor Cork
    19. 60 points Diarmuid McMahon Clare
    20. 59 points Niall McCarthy Cork

    Another cut at this data is to look at the average points from play per game. Below is the list of top 20 scorers from play ordered by the average number of points per game. Players who played less than 10 games are excluded:

    1. 3.82 average points per game John Mullane Waterford
    2. 3.82 average points per game Lar Corbett Tipperary
    3. 3.82 average points per game Gareth Johnson Down
    4. 3.72 average points per game Joe Canning Galway
    5. 3.50 average points per game Damien Hayes Galway
    6. 3.30 average points per game Eoin Kelly Tipperary
    7. 3.30 average points per game Henry Shefflin Kilkenny
    8. 3.18 average points per game Eddie Brennan Kilkenny
    9. 3.00 average points per game Seamus Callanan Tipperary
    10. 2.96 average points per game Tony Griffin Clare
    11. 2.80 average points per game Dan Shanahan Waterford
    12. 2.79 average points per game Niall Gilligan Clare
    13. 2.71 average points per game Pat Horgan Cork
    14. 2.70 average points per game David O’Callaghan Dublin
    15. 2.62 average points per game Rory Jacob Wexford
    16. 2.56 average points per game Brian Carroll Offaly
    17. 2.50 average points per game Noel McGrath Tipperary
    18. 2.50 average points per game Alan Kerins Galway
    19. 2.48 average points per game Joe Bergin Offaly
    20. 2.48 average points per game Niall Healy Galway

    Either way you look at it, impressive scoring by the De La Salle man.

  • The curse of the number 13 jersey

    10:47 am 23.Sep.2011

    With about 7 minutes to go last Sunday as Kerry led by 4 points, Colm Cooper was poised to break one of the curses of Gaelic Football. The Gooch was wearing the number 13 jersey and was about to become the first ever captain wearing 13 to lift the Sam Maguire.

    Fast forward about 15 minutes and it was the Dublin number 12 Bryan Cullen holding Sam aloft. The curse had struck again in spectacular fashion.  Even the Kingdom couldn’t overcome the spell of the number 13 jersey.

    But how many other captains have fallen foul of this curse in football and in hurling?

    The Sam Maguire was first awarded in 1928 so since then there have been 83 winning captains and 83 losing captains. The chart below shows the distribution of winning captains and losing captains by jersey number (click on the chart to view it in full size):

    Football captains by jersey

    Football captains by jersey

    So for example 8 goalkeepers (blue column) have captained their team on All-Ireland final Sunday - with 4 ending up on the winning side (green column) and 4 on the losing side (red column).

    So what about the feared number 13 jersey? It’s striking that it is the least popular jersey number for All-Ireland football final captains. It’s only been worn 3 times out of a possible 166. In fact there was not one captain who wore the number 13 from 1928 until 1990 (Colm O’Rourke). The other “cursed”  captains were Phillip Clifford in 1999 and of course, the Gooch. This goes some way to explain why a number 13 has never held Sam aloft; the right corner forward rarely captains his team.

    This indicates that the “curse” is a perhaps self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe it suggests that superstitious counties simply avoid having a number 13 as captain just in case they make it to Croker on the third Sunday in September. If each jersey number were represented equally then each would have about 11 (166/15) turns as captain - which is the case for the numbers 2, 5 and 14.  But the cursed number 13 jersey falls well below that with just 3 captains wearing it.

    Maybe it’s a corner forward thing? The other corner forward position is not so popular either. Only 6 captains have worn the number 15 jersey (4 winners and 2 losers).

    What about the “luck” (or lack thereof) of other jersey numbers?

    We hear very little about the dangers of wearing the number 7 jersey? But 9 captains have worn 7 but only 2 have lifted Sam (two Down men - DJ Kane in ‘94 and Joe Lennon in ‘68).

    If you believe in the power of the jersey number and want to maximise your chances of winning, which jersey should the captain wear? Number 11 is the most successful jersey. 25 captains have worn 11 with 16 winners. Number 5 is “lucky” too with 7 winners versus 4 losers. You could also go for number 9 - 6 winners and 3 losers.

    What about the Liam McCarthy cup? Which jerseys are “cursed” when it comes to lifting the Liam McCarthy cup?

    Hurling captains by jersey number

    Hurling captains by jersey number

    Is it the feared number number 13? Well no. In fact 3 number 13s have lifted Liam - DJ Carey in 2003, Tomas Mulcahy in 1990 and Charlie McCarthy in ‘78. Five number 13s have been on the losing side - Eoin Kelly this year, Michael McGrath in ‘93, Ger Fitzgerald in ‘92, Nicky English in ‘88 and S Feeney in ‘34.

    No, the number to avoid if you are a superstitious hurler is number 9. 8 captains have worn 9 but only one has lifted Liam - that was Eamon Grimes in ‘73.

    If you want a “lucky” jersey for a hurling captain then pick number 12. It’s been worn 13 times with 10 of those winning. Some great number 12s to captain their teams to glory include Christy Ring (’53 and ‘54) and Eddie Keher (’69).

    Ultimately those of us who are not superstitious believe that even if the next 10 captains to wear the number 13 lose, it would not have no bearing on the next guy after that to wear it. Just as tossing a coin 10 times and coming up heads does not mean that the 11th toss will yield a head.

    But that’s no consolation to the Gooch.

    Postscript

    I tried to collate all the data for losing and winning captains but am missing the following data points:

    Football

    • The position of the 1934 winning Galway football captain M Higgins
    • The position of the 1933 losing Galway football captain M Donnellan
    • The position of the 1930 losing Monaghan football captain P Kilroy
    Hurling
    • The position of the 1937 losing Galway hurling captain J Duggan
    • The position of the 1933 losing Limerick hurling captain M Fitzgibbon
    • The position of the 1930 losing Dublin hurling captain J Walsh
    • The name position of the 1929 losing Galway hurling captain
    There were 2 non-playing captains in hurling which are not included in my stats
    • Frank Wall in 1924
    • Lory Meagher in 1931
    Also not included is Michael Fennelly who was a sub in 2009 and wore 21.
  • The Cats who contributed to the 5 from 6

    6:58 pm 6.Sep.2011

    So Kilkenny have won 5 of the last 6 All-Irelands. But which players have contributed to this superb record of success?

    The list below shows each player who played in one or more of the 26 matches played by the Cats since 2006. The list is sorted by the number of minutes played.

    So what are the highlights? Here are mine:

    • Only 1 player has started every match - Henry Shefflin
    • Only 2 players have appeared in every match - Eoin Larkin and Henry Shefflin
    • Jackie Tyrell has played most hurling - 1739 minutes of a possible 1820 (26 x 70 mins)
    • 9 players have appeared in more than 20 matches - Shefflin, Larkin, Tyrrell, Tommy Walsh, JJ Delaney, Eddie Brennan, Martin Comerford, Richie Power and Michael Rice
    • Cody has used 37 players in total since 2006 - that’s not a lot!
    • 10 of those players have played for less than 170 minutes - that’s about 2.5 matches.
    • John Mulhall has appeared in 7 matches but only clocked up 58 on-field minutes
    • Finally Matthew Ruth has appeared least - playing for only 1 minute of the possible 1820.

    Here is the full list - some of the greatest hurlers ever to play the game:

    1739 minutes Jackie Tyrrell (25 matches)
    1725 minutes Tommy Walsh (25 matches)
    1707 minutes Eoin Larkin (26 matches)
    1684 minutes Henry Shefflin (26 matches)
    1663 minutes JJ Delaney (25 matches)
    1428 minutes Eddie Brennan (24 matches)
    1257 minutes Martin Comerford (22 matches)
    1245 minutes Noel Hickey (19 matches)
    1193 minutes Richie Power (21 matches)
    1181 minutes Brian Hogan (19 matches)
    1181 minutes PJ Ryan (17 matches)
    1169 minutes James Fitzpatrick (19 matches)
    1099 minutes Michael Kavanagh (17 matches)
    1024 minutes Michael Rice (21 matches)
    967 minutes Derek Lyng (19 matches)
    936 minutes Aidan Fogarty (19 matches)
    876 minutes Michael Fennelly (17 matches)
    775 minutes John Tennyson (15 matches)
    592 minutes John Dalton (10 matches)
    525 minutes TJ Reid (15 matches)
    509 minutes Richie Hogan (11 matches)
    444 minutes Willie O’Dwyer (12 matches)
    359 minutes James McGarry (6 matches)
    318 minutes James Ryall (7 matches)
    280 minutes David Herity (4 matches)
    280 minutes Paul Murphy (4 matches)
    270 minutes Colin Fennelly (4 matches)
    163 minutes Eoin McCormack (3 matches)
    147 minutes Richie Mullally (6 matches)
    147 minutes Donncha Cody (3 matches)
    140 minutes Paddy Hogan (3 matches)
    96 minutes PJ Delaney (3 matches)
    91 minutes Eoin Reid (3 matches)
    58 minutes John Mulhall (7 matches)
    21 minutes Sean Cummins (1 matches)
    12 minutes Peter Cleere (1 matches)
    1 minutes Matthew Ruth (1 matches)

  • Tús maith leath na hoibre

    12:27 pm 2.Sep.2011

    Around this time last year (when the 5 in-a-row dream was still alive) I had a look at the Cats half-time and full-time scores in their long unbeaten run. What the stats revealed was that Kilkenny had never gone in at half time behind. All that came to a shuddering end on the 5th of September; Tipp bucked the trend by leading at the break (albeit by a single point) and, of course, went on to inflict a first defeat in five years on the Cats.

    Well here we are a year later and in the meantime Kilkenny have clocked up 3 more championship wins - and you guessed it, they led at half-time on each occasion.

    So the pattern suggests that if Tipp are not ahead or at least level at half-time on Sunday, then Kilkenny will prevail. Time will tell…..

    Kilkenny’s half-time and full-time results over the past 6 years

    Kilkenny’s “margin of victory” in the first half and second half is shown on the right.

    07 Aug 2011 Kilkenny (2-19) 2-10 : 1-07 (1-16) Waterford AIHC S-F 1st half: 6 2nd half: 0
    03 Jul 2011 Kilkenny (4-17) 2-10 : 0-07 (1-15) Dublin LHC F 1st half: 9 2nd half: 2
    11 Jun 2011 Kilkenny (1-26) 1-14 : 1-09 (1-15) Wexford LHC S-F 1st half: 5 2nd half: 6
    05 Sep 2010 Tipperary (4-17) 1-10 : 1-09 (1-18) Kilkenny AIHC F 1st half: -1 2nd half: -7
    08 Aug 2010 Kilkenny (3-22) 2-12 : 0-05 (0-19) Cork AIHC S-F 1st half: 13 2nd half: -1
    04 Jul 2010 Kilkenny (1-19) 1-08 : 1-05 (1-12) Galway LHC F 1st half: 3 2nd half: 4
    20 Jun 2010 Kilkenny (4-19) 1-10 : 0-08 (0-12) Dublin LHC S-F 1st half: 5 2nd half: 14
    06 Sep 2009 Kilkenny (2-22) 0-13 : 0-11 (0-23) Tipperary AIHC F 1st half: 2 2nd half: 3
    09 Aug 2009 Kilkenny (2-23) 2-12 : 1-09 (3-15) Waterford AIHC S-F 1st half: 6 2nd half: -1
    05 Jul 2009 Kilkenny (2-18) 1-10 : 0-07 (0-18) Dublin LHC F 1st half: 6 2nd half: 0
    20 Jun 2009 Kilkenny (2-20) 2-07 : 1-08 (3-13) Galway LHC S-F 1st half: 2 2nd half: 2
    07 Sep 2008 Kilkenny (3-30) 2-16 : 0-05 (1-13) Waterford AIHC F 1st half: 17 2nd half: 6
    10 Aug 2008 Kilkenny (1-23) 1-12 : 0-07 (0-17) Cork AIHC S-F 1st half: 8 2nd half: 1
    06 Jul 2008 Kilkenny (5-21) 1-09 : 0-10 (0-17) Wexford LHC F 1st half: 2 2nd half: 17
    15 Jun 2008 Kilkenny (2-24) 1-09 : 0-06 (0-12) Offaly LHC S-F 1st half: 6 2nd half: 12
    02 Sep 2007 Kilkenny (2-19) 2-10 : 0-08 (1-15) Limerick AIHC F 1st half: 8 2nd half: -1
    05 Aug 2007 Kilkenny (0-23) 0-11 : 0-06 (1-13) Wexford AIHC S-F 1st half: 5 2nd half: 2
    28 Jul 2007 Kilkenny (3-22) 0-13 : 1-09 (1-18) Galway AIHC Q-F 1st half: 1 2nd half: 9
    01 Jul 2007 Kilkenny (2-24) 2-11 : 0-06 (1-12) Wexford LHC F 1st half: 11 2nd half: 4
    10 Jun 2007 Kilkenny (1-27) 0-14 : 1-10 (1-13) Offaly LHC S-F 1st half: 1 2nd half: 13
    03 Sep 2006 Kilkenny (1-16) 1-08 : 0-08 (1-13) Cork AIHC F 1st half: 3 2nd half: 0
    13 Aug 2006 Kilkenny (2-21) 1-10 : 1-10 (1-16) Clare AIHC S-F 1st half: 0 2nd half: 8
    22 Jul 2006 Kilkenny (2-22) 2-13 : 0-06 (3-14) Galway AIHC Q-F 1st half: 13 2nd half: -8
    02 Jul 2006 Kilkenny (1-23) 1-09 : 0-04 (2-12) Wexford LHC F 1st half: 8 2nd half: 0
    10 Jun 2006 Kilkenny (1-23) 1-15 : 1-04 (1-09) Westmeath LHC S-F 1st half: 11 2nd half: 3

    In the 50 halves (25 matches) of hurling Kilkenny have played over the last 6 years they have:

    • won 39
    • drawn 5
    • lost 6
  • The rookies of 2011

    12:28 pm 31.Aug.2011

    I think it is safe to assume that no player is going to make his championship debut on Sunday’s All-Ireland final; if so, the 2011 season will see 78 players make their championship debuts. This is 11 more than in 2010 and 17 more than 2009.

    Why the big jump? Well the county with most newcomers was Westmeath with 10; the Lake County spent two years competing in the Christy Ring Cup. Antrim are next with 9 newcomers. I am not sure why Dinny Cahill gave starts to so many younsters.

    Interestingly, in 2009 and 2010, Brian Cody only gave debuts to 1 new player. However in 2011, 5 Kilkenny players have had their first taste of championship action. Perhaps Cody felt the need to introduce new blood after last year’s defeat. Liam Sheedy adopted a youth policy and the Tipp team which triumphed in the 2010 final featured a number of new players (Michael Cahill, Patrick Maher and Seamus Hennessy).

    The full list of new players is here:

    Antrim (9)

    Carlow (7)

    Clare (4)

    Cork (5)

    Dublin (4)

    Galway (3)

    Kilkenny (5)

    Laois (6)

    Limerick (5)

    Offaly (5)

    Tipperary (5)

    Waterford (6)

    Westmeath (10)

    Wexford (4)

  • Noel McGrath is the sideline cut king for 2011

    12:19 pm 26.Aug.2011

    UPDATE: Noel McGrath added one more sideline cut in the All-Ireland final so the revised totals are:

    Total by season

    2011 9 points
    2010* 12 points
    2009 11 points
    2008 7 points
    2007 8 points
    2006 2 points

    Total by player in 2011

    5 points Noel McGrath Tipperary
    1 point Brendan Murtagh Westmeath
    1 point Declan Hannon Limerick
    1 point Eoin Quigley Wexford
    1 point Joe Canning Galway

    Total by player since 2004

    7 points Joe Canning Galway
    6 points Noel McGrath Tipperary
    5 points Alan McCrabbe Dublin
    4 points Brian McFall Antrim
    3 points Ben O’Connor Cork

    Original posting starts here…

    There is only one game remaining in championship 2011 (barring a rare, drawn final) so I figured I’d do my annual tally of sideline cuts. So far this year, there have been 8 line-balls scored. This is 4 less than last year; the yearly total since 2004 is as follows:

    2011 8 points
    2010* 12 points
    2009 11 points
    2008 7 points
    2007 8 points
    2006 2 points
    2005 6 points
    2004 4 points

    As for the tally by player, Noel McGrath is the only player to score more than 1 this year. In fact McGrath has already scored a whopping 4 points from sideline cuts this summer - 1 per game. He may well add to that tally in the final.

    4 points Noel McGrath Tipperary
    1 point Brendan Murtagh Westmeath
    1 point Declan Hannon Limerick
    1 point Eoin Quigley Wexford
    1 point Joe Canning Galway

    While Joe Canning only cut over 1 point this year (v Clare), he remains on top of the charts (2004 - 2011) with 7 points, two points ahead of Alan McCrabbe and Noel McGrath:

    7 points Joe Canning Galway
    5 points Alan McCrabbe Dublin
    5 points Noel McGrath Tipperary
    4 points Brian McFall Antrim
    3 points Ben O’Connor Cork
    3 points James Young Laois
    2 points Diarmuid Lyng Wexford
    2 points Eamonn Corcoran Tipperary
    2 points Gavin O’Mahony Limerick
    2 points Shane McGrath Tipperary
    2 points Shane O’Sullivan Waterford
    1 point Adrian Fenlon Wexford
    1 point Brendan Murtagh Westmeath
    1 point Brian O’Connell Clare
    1 point Colin Ryan Clare
    1 point Dave Sweeney Dublin
    1 point Declan Hannon Limerick
    1 point Diarmuid McMahon Clare
    1 point E Bevans Offaly
    1 point Eddie Brennan Kilkenny
    1 point Eoin Quigley Wexford
    1 point Ger Farragher Galway
    1 point James Walsh Laois
    1 point Joe Fitzpatrick Laois
    1 point John McCaffrey Dublin
    1 point Martin Finn London
    1 point Michael Cordial Offaly
    1 point Richie Foley Waterford
    1 point Rory Hanniffy Offaly
    1 point Sean McBride Derry
    1 point TJ Reid Kilkenny
    1 point** Zane Keenan Laois

    * There is an asterix beside the 2010 tally because one of the line-balls was actually a wide - this was Ger Farragher’s cut v Offaly. But seeing as it went on the official record as a point, I’m going to record it here :)

    **I also have a doubt about the line-ball scored by Zane Keenan v Carlow in the Leinster championship in June 2010. Some match reports credit him with the point from the sideline whereas others don’t. If anyone knows for sure, let me know.

  • The odds remain (somehwat) the same

    7:53 pm 20.May.2011

    When the second half of May rolls around I usually take a peek at the odds for the All-Ireland championship.  So here goes for 2011. Bookie uimhir a haon sees it as a two horse race between the teams who have contested the last 2 All Ireland finals.

    2011 Liam McCarthy cup odds (1)
    2011 Liam McCarthy cup odds (1)

    Galway and Cork make up the number three and four positions. Galway are a bit of surprise at number three given that they have not even reached an All-Ireland semi-final since 2005. It seems that some bookies have an irrational fear that the Tribesmen may get their act together one day.

    Bookie number 2 sees the Cats and Tipp as neck and neck. If you feel that Tipp are well equipped to win their first 2-in-a-row since 1965, then bookie number 2 is the man for you. Again Galway are ranked number three with the new kids on the block Dublin muscling their way to fourth.

    2011 Liam McCarthy Cup odds (2)
    2011 Liam McCarthy Cup odds (2)

    Bookie number three has Tipp has the outright favourite with the Cats trailing at 2/1. Galway occupy the (undeserved?) number three spot followed by the Dubs and the Rebels.

    2011 Liam McCarthy cup odds (3)
    2011 Liam McCarthy cup odds (3)

    So there you have it. The top 4 four are:

    1. Tipperary
    2. Kilkenny
    3. Galway
    4. Dublin/Cork

    It will be either by Kilkenny or Tipp again this year with Galway, the Dubs or Cork an outside chance. As usual the bookies don’t really rate last year’s Munster champions Waterford.  Even though na Deise have been one of the most consistent teams not to win the All-Ireland  (over the past 5 years they have contested 4 semi-finals and a final) you can back them at 14/1 if you fancy……

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