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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 25 April, 2014

10 things to know about Sunday’s All-Ireland minor hurling final

Galway and Waterford are expected to provide an exciting curtain-raiser to this Sunday’s senior hurling final.

Galway minor hurler Paul Killeen.
Galway minor hurler Paul Killeen.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

1. This is the second time that Galway and Waterford have faced each other in the All -Ireland minor hurling final. The previous meeting was in 1992 when Galway eased past a Paul Flynn inspired Waterford 1-13 to 2-4 to claim their second ever minor title.

2. Waterford have won two All-Ireland minor championships, in 1929 (the second year of the competition) and 1948. They have only reached the final on one other occasion, with that 1992 appearance their only defeat.

3. Galway won their first minor crown in 1983 after 10 previous final visits. Since 1992 they have appeared in 14 finals winning seven including victory in 2011 against Dublin. Current Galway manager Mattie Murphy has guided his county to six of those triumphs.

4. Galway’s progress to the final has been relatively serene, overcoming Laois in the All-Ireland quarter-final and Limerick (after extra-time and several committee meetings) to reach the final. They have scored 1-42 and conceded 0-33 in their two games so far.

5. Waterford’s route to the final has been somewhat more circuitous to say the least. In April they lost the Munster quarter-final to Tipperary, but beat Clare in a play-off on 1 May to get into the provincial semi-final where they saw off Cork after extra-time. They drew with, and then lost to, Limerick after a replay in the Munster final before getting back on track with a win over Antrim in an All-Ireland quarter-final that was technically abandoned late on due to an injury but with Waterford so far ahead Antrim chose not to protest and forfeited the tie. That left Waterford in an All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny who they defeated 2-12 to 0-16.

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Waterford Manager Kieran O’Gorman celebrates with his selectors Wayne Power and John Treacy at the final whistle in the smei-final. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

6. After all that Waterford have scored 21-114 and conceded 7-109 becoming one of the few (only?) inter-county teams to play in six successive months in the process.

7. Galway’s top scorer is Brian Molloy of Cill na Dioma-Liathdroim who has hit 0-13 (0-7f, 0-2 65). Next best for the Tribesmen is Conor Whelan from Kinvara who has chipped in with 1-6, all from play.

8. Waterford’s scorers have obviously been more active having played five games more than Sunday’s opponents and top scorer for them is  Dungarvan’s Patrick Curran with a massive 2-46 (0-23f, 0-8 ’65).  Fellow corner forward Stephen Bennett, who is in his third year on the panel, has plundered 6-5 so far in the competition showing his incredible eye for goal.

9. Five Waterford players will be hoping to complete a memorable double this weekend.  Kevin Daly, Tom Devine, Michael Harney, Cormac Curran and Patrick Curran were all part of the Dungarvan Colleges side that claimed Croke Cup (All Ireland Colleges’) honours earlier this year.

10. Hawk-Eye will definitely be calibrated to hurling specifications this weekend….. we hope.

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