Jamesie O’Connor and Anthony Nash make their predictions for the All-Ireland final. Watch Cork vs Limerick live on Sky Sports Arena from 2:30pm Sunday.
Last Updated: 20/08/21 1:53pm
Who will lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup?
Two remain in the race for the most sought-after piece of silverware in hurling, and on Sunday afternoon Cork and Limerick will meet in the decider for the first time to decide the trophy’s destination for the next 12 months.
To look ahead to the contest, Jamesie O’Connor and Anthony Nash joined Brian Carney on Inside The Game and the duo made their predictions.
Jamesie O’Connor: “Cork have to take huge confidence from [beating Kilkenny in the semi-finals]. Even Tim O’Mahony coming off the pitch at the end of normal time, his head was down, the body language wasn’t good. Maybe they felt that they had blown it.
“But the way he stepped up in extra-time, he caught three Kilkenny puck-outs, I thought it was a great sign of his character and the team’s character the way they picked themselves up off the floor and went again.
“Jim McGuinness said on Saturday in the Dublin-Mayo game, that Mayo had to drag Dublin into the cave. And they managed that, to get them into the final quarter where they were able to ask those hard questions. That’s vital, Cork have to be there with 15-20 minutes to go. If they are, and with the confidence in the team and the bench that they have, then they have a chance.
“But for me, I just can’t look beyond Limerick. Given the strengths that Cork have, I still think Limerick won’t allow them to do the things they want to do. They won’t afford them the space that they’re going to need to get those goals that are required to beat Limerick. So for me, I still think Limerick are the team to beat. And I don’t think there’s a team good enough to do it just right now.”
Anthony Nash: “Family, I’ve been a Limerick person since I was growing up, supporting Limerick. But then obviously some of my best friends are on the field for Cork.
“Prediction time for me, it’s a positive for Cork, I’m finding it hard to call it. Cork’s extra-time victory over Kilkenny will be absolutely massive for the confidence of those young fellas. It was actually the best way to win it. They won it, they lost it, they went to extra-time and won it again. It just shows that they can dig deep and have a strong bench.
“For Cork to win, I think they need to get it to 40, 50 minutes and unleash the bench, with pace and everything like that.
“If Limerick play for 70 minutes, it’s very difficult to beat them, for anybody.
“It’s not because of my [split allegiances], I do think there could be a draw on the cards here. I really do.”
Watch Cork vs Limerick live on Sky Sports Arena from 2:30pm Sunday.