John Mullane: Waterford will stick to sweeper system!

Editor’s note: John Mullane is the brand ambassador for JJ Kavanagh & Sons and will be bringing his thoughts after all hurling Championship games!

2pm All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final

Waterford Vs Wexford 

So John, do you think the U-21 Waterford victory will have a positive impact on this senior team?

Waterford under 21 hurling victory over clare 2016

JM: Absolutely, it was a great boost of confidence and puts a bit of pride back in the Waterford jersey. It was a big game for the likes of Stephen Bennett, Conor Gleeson and of course Austin Gleeson who had an interesting positional change. I feel that the impact of winning a big game in that manner will reinstate confidence and believe back into this Waterford side.

Waterford’s defensive system is not to everyone’s liking, so the manner in which Tipp pulled it apart has been hailed in some quarters as a victory for traditional hurling. Do you think Derek and the team will stick to playing this ‘sweeper system’ for the game against Wexford?

JM: I think Derek McGrath will stick to the system. He will be more determined to show that this system can be successful. It would be unfair to judge this system now. I think we will get a clearer picture if this system is successful or not at the end of the year. To change it mid-season might upset this team as they have been training in this mindset for the last twelve months.  So to answer the question, I believe that Derek McGrath and his management team will stick to this ‘sweeper system’ against Wexford.

Where do you think this game will be won and lost?

If Waterford can curtail Lee Chin and McDonald they will have an excellent chance of winning this game. Wexford’s attack will not hold back and it’ll be important to stop the attacking momentum. I feel Austin Gleeson could be the one to nullify Lee Chin. This will be a mouth watering battle if it does unfold and could be the winning and losing of the game.

Lee Ching wexford Hurler ready for the All Ireland Hurling Quarter Finals with JJ Kavanagh & Sons

Where will the key battles be on Sunday?

JM: As I said, if it does unfold,Gleeson and Chin would be a colossal battle. Maurice Shanahan and Matthew Hanlon, Shane Bennett and Paudie Foley and Barry Coughlan and Conor McDonald are all the key areas where this game will be decided.

What’s your score predications?

JM: This is a hard call. If Waterford turn up and give a performance they will win this game but on the the other if they give a low par performance as we’ve seen in the Munster final, Wexford have every chance of winning this game.

Wexford will not fear Waterford at all but I suspect there will be a reaction after the Munster final defeat and I think Waterford will win this game with a scoreline close to 2-17 to 1-15.


4pm All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final

Galway Vs Clare

Galway had a heavy defeat against Kilkenny in the Leinster Final. Do you think that they can come back and redeem themselves and put in a performance that can beat this Clare side?

JM: 12 months ago they did it and took us all by surprise when they beat Cork comfortably at this same stage. However, a lot has happened within those 12 months and I just feel that Galway have gone back the way and will find this challenge difficult to overcome.

Can you see Joe Canning not scoring from play again?

I wouldn’t rule it out with the way Clare set up. Davy Fitz and Donal O’g will have two men close enough to him at all times. It is a huge possibility that Canning will find it difficult to score from play. Nonetheless like any great athlete he will be out to prove everyone wrong.

Joe Canning Galways hurler of the year and all star is ready for the all Ireland Hurling quarter final in simple stadium with JJ Kavanagh & Sons

Where do you think this game will be won and lost?

JM: Without exerting any pressure on Joe I feel he will need to deliver a big performance on Sunday if Galway are to win this game. I think Davy Fitz and Donal O’g will designate David McInerney to mark Joe in this game. With an inform David McInerney and with a Joe Canning out to prove a point this battle if it unfolds would be a key area of where the game could be won and lost.

Where will the key battles be?

JM: As I said, Canning v McInerney, David Burke v David Ready and John Hanley v John Conlon. Three key battles that could decide the outcome on Sunday.

What’s your score predications?

JM: Hard to say, its been a dour Championship so far hence we need a good game and maybe this could be the game to get people talking in a positive manner. I think Clare will kick on and set up a meeting with Tipperary on a scoreline of 1-21 to 1-17.