LIMERICK have been installed at ridiculously skimpy odds (4/11) to account for Kilkenny in Sunday’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship showdown at Croker.
The Cats, who lead the Roll of Honour on a whopping 36 titles, are available at tempting (from a neutral view, that is) odds of 11/4, while it’s 9/1 for the contest to finish level after normal-time, after which extra-time would follow, and then possibly the first ever penalty shoot-out in the 130-odd year history of the championship.
Four-in-a-row chasing Limerick are appearing in their 21st final and are in search of title number 12.
For Kilkenny it’s a 65th outing in the showdown, and are seeking outright glory for the first time since 2015, which surely represents something of a famine for the county.
The game’s all-time scorer TJ Reid (30-544) is under no illusions, however, of the task ahead of them against the modern-day giants.
“It’s going to take a great team to beat Limerick,” he said post the semi-final win over beaten Munster finalists Clare, thus quickly dampening expectations in the Marble County.
“To beat this Limerick, we’re going to have to be at 100, 110 per cent for the whole 75 minutes.
“At a flick of a switch, they can go from two points down to ten points up. We gave them a good game last year but we lost (by just two points, 1-31 to 2-26). We’re looking forward to getting ourselves right for it now.”
Towering Reid (who stands at 6’3”) is a six-time All-Star who will have Na Piarsaigh’s Mike Casey as close company in a few days’ time.
The 35-year-old legend knocked over a dozen points, all from dead ball situations (including a sideline beauty) in the downfall of the Banner a fortnight ago.
It was interesting to note that Kilkenny held an opening training session for supporters early last week.