JOE’s preview of this weekend's All-Ireland U21 Hurling Final and the All-Ireland Camogie Final 9 years ago

JOE’s preview of this weekend's All-Ireland U21 Hurling Final and the All-Ireland Camogie Final

It’s another big weekend for GAA with the All-Ireland u21 hurling decider on Saturday evening in Thurles and the Camogie All Ireland Final taking place in Croke Park on Sunday.

Wexford take on reigning champions Clare in Thurles on Saturday in what is sure to be a cracking encounter. Usually we are looking at the u21 championship in search of future stars but this year it has been a little different. Many of the players taking the field on Saturday are already established players on the senior panels of their respective counties.


This means that instead of the usual slightly lower standard of the u21 championship, we should be treated to an exhibition of high quality, senior standard hurling. Clare will obviously have a lot to prove to themselves having been knocked out of the senior championship by the same opponents in July and Wexford will be keen to spoil Clare's run for three-in-a-row.

Who will win?

It’s hard to look past Clare for this one. They are arguably one of the greatest u21 teams ever to grace the hurling pitch and they have outstanding players throughout their team. Tony Kelly is the heartbeat of their team at centre forward and he is an outstanding hurler (just look at his point below), but they have far more in their arsenal than just last year's Hurler of the Year.


Video via breakingthrough.

All six of their starting forwards have played senior inter-county hurling for Clare, at the back they have Seadna Morey and Jack Browne and at midfield they have the tireless Colm Galvin. To say that this Clare side would beat most senior teams would not be an exaggeration. They are just that good.

Clare destroyed Cork in the Munster final and easily dispatched Antrim in the semi-final. They have won their games at a canter so it may be interesting to see how they cope in a tight, tense game when the result is in the balance. However, they have match winners all over the park and plenty of experienced operators so they should be able to adapt when the game is in the melting pot.

It’s not fair to rule out a Wexford win before the game has even begun but it will be a big ask for this Wexford side to stay with Clare if they kick into gear early on. For them to have any chance in the game, they cannot afford to let this Clare team get in front. Everybody needs to stand up with big performances if they are to stop the Banner juggernaut from rumbling towards a third successive All-Ireland.


Senior stars Jack Guiney, Conor MacDonald (video below) and Liam Ryan are all key players for this side and will provide experience on Saturday when they face street-wise Clare. A good win over Galway last time out will give them confidence. It will have helped banish the memories of last year’s second half collapse against Antrim. But they were very open in defence against Galway and their two wing backs were destroyed by Padraig Brehony in the first half. He ran out of steam in the second half but you can be sure that Tony Kelly and co won’t let up like Galway did.

Video via breakingthrough.

JOE’s top tip for the weekend is a five to eight point win for the Banner County. They should have too much in the tank for Wexford to handle. It would take an extraordinary performance from the Leinster champions if they are to come out on the right side of the result on Saturday.


On Sunday, The Liberty Insurance All-Ireland camogie finals take centre stage in Croke Park bringing fans a great day of sporting action. Old rivals Cork and Kilkenny meet in the senior final at 4pm in a titanic tussle between two historical powerhouses of camogie.

Liberty Insurance All Ireland Camogie Finals Launch 9/9/2014

Kilkenny will be hoping to go one better than last year when they fell at the final hurdle against Galway. Cork on the other hand will be on the trail to win their first All-Ireland since their victory over Kilkenny in 2009. Kilkenny go into the game as slight favourites but this game will surely go to the wire and there is very little separating the two sides.

Kilkenny also face Limerick in the Intermediate final at 2pm while the Junior final between Down and Laois throws in at 12pm.