Jackie Tyrrell gives Galway the nod, work to do for Shane Lowry

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Jack Cork scores Burnley’s extra-time winner against Istanbul Basaksehir at Turf Moor. Photograph:  Alex Livesey/Getty

Jack Cork scores Burnley’s extra-time winner against Istanbul Basaksehir at Turf Moor. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty

The All-Ireland SHC final is just two days away, and for Limerick it is their first appearance in hurling’s showpiece since they were beaten 2-19 to 1-15 by Kilkenny in 2007. In his column today Jackie Tyrrell recalls that fixture in Croke Park, and suggests Limerick’s long wait to return to the top could count against them this weekend. He writes: “Limerick are back in their first final since that day 11 years ago. That has to be a disadvantage. I’ve been really impressed with how John Kiely has managed the build-up, but no matter what they do, they are gaining experience on Sunday, whereas Galway are using experience. Galway have been to the final in 2012 twice, 2015 and 2017 and that’s invaluable. All the players have been through this a couple of times, so they know what is to come. Advantage Galway.” And while he believes Sunday’s fixture brings together two well-matched outfits, Tyrrell suggests it is the ruthlessness of the defending champions which will get them over the line and see Liam MacCarthy return to the West for another term. “Add it all up and I end up leaning towards Galway for the win. They know what the big day demands, they’re a small bit more rugged in their physicality.”

Shane Lowry has plenty of work to do in order to retain his PGA Tour playing card for next season after he shot an opening round of 69 at the Wyndham Championship. Lowry realistically needs to finish in the top-five in North Carolina to force his way into the top-125 of the Fed Ex Cup rankings, however he is already well off the white hot pace set by leader Brandt Snedeker after he finished the day on one under par. Snedeker became the 10th man in PGA Tour history to break 60 on Thursday, his 59 containing one eagle, 10 birdies and a bogey. The American leads by four from compatriots Ryan Moore and John Oda. The rest of the Irish in the field in Greensboro are also scrapping for playing privileges for next year - Graeme McDowell opened with a 70, Seamus Power a 74 and Padraig Harrington a 68.

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