Leinster v Connacht Inter-pro Hurling preview

Updated: March 1, 2012

Leinster and Connacht meet in the final of the M Donnelly Interprovincial hurling championship at Nowlan Park on Sunday afternoon(2.00pm).

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The home side will be hot favourites to take the title and it will be a major surprise were their opponents from the west to upset the odds in this tie.

Leinster are the defending champions and had an impressive 3-14 to 1-16 victory over Munster in the semi final. Joe Dooley picked a very strong squad for the competition and included thirteen of the Kilkenny All Ireland winning side in his initial panel. Connacht saw off Ulster in the second semi-final on a scoreline of 3-19 to 1-15. It was a commanding performance from the team but in truth, they faced the weakest of the four provinces in the series. Connacht are mostly made up of Galway players and it can work to their advantage that they are used to playing with each other every week. Sligo man Keith Raymond is the only non Tribesman on the panel. The province have only won the Railway Cup on eleven occasions and are huge underdogs to add to that tally.

With the likes of Richie Power,Richie Hogan and Shane Dooley in their ranks, Leinster have a very strong side and it will be a huge surprise if they do not win the final comfortably. Bookmakers have the game priced up 1/3 Leinster and 4/1 Connacht. While there may be some value in the latter at those odds, the suggested bet is Leinster minus three in the handicap betting. If all their players are on song and Dooley’s men build up an early momentum they could run out easy winners here. The manager has a number of high class forwards from which to pick and all will be keen to get in on the act.

Joe Canning is a huge loss to Galway and Connacht,having picked up a shoulder injury earlier in the season. His absence is crucial in the contest of Sunday’s game,and with it went any chance the men from the west had of causing a shock.

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