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The Five Players Who Influenced The All-Ireland Hurling Final The Most

The Five Players Who Influenced The All-Ireland Hurling Final The Most
By Maurice Brosnan Updated

Limerick have stormed towards a deserved All-Ireland final victory. In typical fashion of this remarkable year, it wasn't secured until the last puck of the ball but ultimately John Kiely's side have bridged a 45-year wait for the Liam McCarthy. The final score was 3-16 to 2-18.

In truth, Galway left it far too late to muster a challenge and will be infuriated at their 65-minute underperformance. An attritional championship took its toll and the double proved a step too far. However, today is about The Shannonsiders. 'It'll be a mad week in Limerick!' summarised Anthony Daly, speaking on RTE Sport.

Here are the men who had the most decisive say on today's end result.

Kyle Hayes

Relentless. Hayes epitomised all that was great about his county's performance. A constant outlet from puck-outs, the Kildimo-Pallaskenry man was sensational from open play. An exhibition in point taking, with 0-4 from play. A spectacular performance at just 20-years-old.

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Mike Casey

The build-up to this final was dominated with discussion about the absurd height and weight disadvantage Casey was giving up against the monstrous Jonathan Glynn. Casey emphatically answered his doubters and neutralized Galway's primary outlet.

Declan Hannon

'Who is marking who?' pondered Marty Morrissey on commentary. How do you stop the defending Al-Ireland champions? Hammer the hammer and Hannon did. Joe Canning was immediately put on the back foot and Hannon demonstrated his scoring ability of old with two expertly converted first-half points. Eamonn Grimes is no longer the last Limerick captain to lift the Liam McCarthy Cup.

Joseph Cooney

Galway's entire offensive line dramatically malfunctioned and in the end, Cooney was the sole torch carrier for Micheál Donoghue's side. In extra-time, Conor Whelan and Canning landed goals but for the vast majority of today's game, Galway's forward line was a one-man army.

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Shane Dowling 

Make no mistake, if not for Shane Dowling Limerick would not have ended this famine. His heroics against Cork propelled them into the final and his goal today put them just out of touch."It just means the world to me and my family, it really does" he said after the final whistle. Could a substitute win an All-Star?

 

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