Limerick better-placed than Dublin to bounce back

Do-or-die qualifier for two experienced teams inevitably short of confidence

Ger Cunningham: has reshaped the Dublin team in the wake of the heavy defeat to Galway. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ger Cunningham: has reshaped the Dublin team in the wake of the heavy defeat to Galway. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

They are each other’s provincial equivalent this summer – a decent first game followed by a depressing hiding followed by an unconvincing win over a minnow. This is where they diverge.

All the same, regardless of who comes out on top, it takes a ripe enough imagination to picture either of them hurling in August.

That arguably the two most experienced collections of players in the championship find themselves at such an unpretty pass is a fairly damning indictment. Of the respective managements, of the players themselves, even (if you want to go macroeconomic about it) of the years of underachievement that seem to give them an excuse to allow the air go out of a summer at the first sign of trouble.

For different reasons, we assumed they’d both attack 2015 with renewed vigour. Instead, Limerick’s habitual league failings have trailed them into the championship.

The closing 20 minutes of the Tipp game appear to have spooked them, bringing them face-to-face with the realities of their own limitations.

When you don’t have an All-Ireland beside your name, a team’s identity changes with the wind.

Limerick went into the Tipp game as the team who pushed Kilkenny all the way in 2014 and who had just beaten the 2013 champions. They left it as just another dumper-load of shark chump.

As for Dublin, Ger Cunningham’s time has been pockmarked by constant rumours of player unrest, ending this week with Mick Carton’s decision to leave the panel.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the specific situation, there’s no brave face to be put on the defection of such a solid citizen in the weekend of a do-or-die championship game. It’s tough to see where they can find a coherent enough performance.

Each of them on their best championship day?

Limerick probably have a shade more to them than Dublin. They certainly look to have the edge around the middle and clearly have more big-game experience in their front six than Dublin have in the defence they’ve named.

On the basis that they’re more likely to prolong their year in the event of getting another shot after tonight, we’ll give them the nod.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.