Ballyea (@1.72) vs Carrigtwohill (@2.37)
15-09-2019

Our Prediction:

Ballyea will win

Ballyea – Carrigtwohill Match Prediction | 15-09-2019 09:00

I think our performance in the Munster Club Final solidified that we actually are decent enough here, well have a right good crack and well knuckle down, try to get to Croke Park because were only one game away from it. I think once we beat that, it was kind of like, right, we might as well have a right good crack now off the Munster Club Final and see where that takes us. I think the Thurles game gave us the belief that were able to compete with Thomas, Thurles, Glen Rovers.

"I think definitely from our point of view, you can get caught up trying to mark them lads and come up with special plans to mark them lads but I think focusing on ourselves to try to get our own performance because I think if you zone in on one or two of those lads, three or four others will hurt you.

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However, based on the particular tactical nature of this one, in my preview I had predicted that you shouldnt be surprised if you see a lot of possession play and weaving of hand-passes in the middle third. The side who do this best/coughs up the fewest turnovers doing this will probably win. In the end, this did indeed turn out to be the most significant statistical element.

Both sides have been tactically superior to all opposition theyve faced, and theres a good chance that this one is going to play out more like a game of chess. The bad news is that if youre expecting an end to end humdinger in this Fridays All-Ireland club hurling final between Cuala and Ballyea, theres a good chance youre going to be disappointed.

Cuala for their part, were giving Kilmacud Crokes the hiding of all hidings in the Dublin final, leading by 1-5 to no score after 22 minutes, having put six other efforts wide. They would concede eight unanswered points in the opening seventeen minutes of the second half and, incredibly, would have to come from behind to win in the end.

Whats particularly noteworthy is the fact that from the six turnovers that Ballye made, they scored 1-2, painting a picture of how different things could have been if Cuala hadnt had the finesse to weave their way through the half back line and midfield time and again. Ballyeas midfield, including former Hurler of the Year, Tony Kelly, played second fiddle to Darrah OConnell and John Sheanon.

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To that end, how this element on puck-outs plays itself out will most likely be one of three key defining elements, probably the most significant. Dont be surprised if you see a lot of possession play and weaving of hand-passes in the middle third. The side who do this best/coughs up the fewest turnovers doing this will probably win.

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"We didnt care, once we could get there and win that, that was it. To be honest with you, going out against Thurles, you wanted to go out and give a good account of yourselves and have a crack off it, but you were never thinking you were going to beat Thurles, with the team they had. It had never been done in the club and we won that on the Sunday, wed Thurles the following Sunday.

Cuala vs Ballyea Preview: Chess like Tactics Likely to Win the Day

It swung the tactical dynamics hugely in their favour creating the optimum conditions to further exploit Ballyea and finish off with an encore of unanswered points taking the All-Ireland with more than a modicum of style. Shrewd as ever on the line, once Cuala scored their second goal and took an eight point lead, they planted numbers behind the ball and allowed Ballyea the short puck-out.

This allowed them the same tactical superiority theyve enjoyed throughout the campaign, typically having extra men at the back time and time again. Instead, he upped the ante, went man on man on a number of occasions early on, but filtered a player back as the ball was in the air. This meant that they didnt allow Ballyea the short puck, but still managed to have that extra man at the back as soon as the puck-out landed.

Time and again where lesser hurlers and men, in possession, would have simply launched the ball forward to avoid the possibility of being caught on the ball, they stepped inside an opponent or two, allowing them or the player they would hand-pass to to deliver a measured ball to Con OCallaghan in the full forward line. And credit where its due.