All-Ireland Senior Final vs. Galway Preview

by on the 8th of December 2020

Saturday 12th December 2020

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Final

Kilkenny vs. Galway

Venue – Croke Park, @ 19:00

Referee – Owen Elliot (Antrim)

*In the event of a draw, the Replay will take place on Saturday December 19th.

This Saturday, December 12th, Kilkenny will take on Galway in Croke Park in what promises to be a rousing finale to a season like no other. In a repeat of last year’s All Ireland Final, Galway will be aiming to do the double for the first time in their history, while Kilkenny will be carrying the hurt of last year’s defeat in the search for their fourteenth title overall.

The Cats fought their way back to the final (their fifth in as many years) with a tight win over Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Unlike the semifinal, however, Kilkenny won’t be coming into this match from a lengthy layoff, and so might avoid the sluggish start that plagued them at the beginning of the Cork match.

In the other semifinal, Galway ran out relatively comfortable winners against Tipperary, holding a six-point lead at the final whistle. The question of whether or not Kilkenny’s more testing challenge will stand to them under the bright lights of Croke Park remains to be answered.  

A quirk of this year’s championship was its isolation – no supporters, minimal interaction with teammates, no buses, and more. Yet some Kilkenny stars believe that this has only been to the benefit of their performance and the atmosphere surrounding the camp. Denise Gaule, Meighan Farrell and Collette Dormer were in consensus when asked about the impact that the pandemic has had on the season.  

“It’s been good from the point of having a break”, explained Gaule. “It kind of feels like there’s less pressure on us, although we probably put that on ourselves!”

“It’s different in regards that it’s a year where it feels like anything could happen”, agreed Farrell.

“The effort that everyone put in away from the county was great”, Dormer pointed out. “Everyone kind of bonded together through that”.

As for manager Brian Dowling, when asked what his charges will have to do to break the losing streak of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 All Irelands, he simply quipped “score more than the other team, I suppose!”

In a year marked by suffering, the continuance of Gaelic games action has been a rare bright spot. It’s fitting, therefore, that a county as steeped in tradition as Kilkenny will have a chance to ascend the steps of the Hogan Stand and emerge as champions of Ireland.


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