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Monday, 22 October, 2018

Waterford bench can make impact in epic showdown

Austin Gleeson of Waterford has hit his stride after a slow start to the season
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All-Ireland SHC final
Sky Action & RTE2, 3.30pm Sunday

The most eagerly-awaited All-Ireland hurling final in recent memory looks set to live up to expectations. Expect an epic encounter and Paddy Power's special offer of a draw or either team to win by one, two, three or four points is worth taking at even-money.

Galway have taken the direct route to this stage and their win over Tipperary in the semi-final will have given them a huge confidence boost, while Waterford came through massive tests against Kilkenny, Wexford and finally Cork.

This is Galway's second All-Ireland Final in three years, and while they look a little further down the road than Waterford, both teams have proved throughout 2017 that they deserve to be here.

Joe Canning inspired a stunning comeback in the last 12 minutes, when Galway beat Waterford by just three points in the league, and today is sure to be tight once again.

Waterford's bench has been key to their success this year, proving their worth time and time again at key stages of the game, and Waterford will rely on them to make an impact once again today.

Maurice Shanahan has been the standout figure, notching 1-9 in this championship, but his effect on the team has been far more as he lifts the crowd and the players around him.

His energy in the last 20 minutes is infectious and, along with Brian O’Halloran and Colin Dunford, the Waterford replacements can make a big impact.

The even-money on offer with Paddy Power about Waterford's substitutes scoring three points or more looks generous.

Conor Cooney has been on fire for Galway this year, having struggled with injury last season and, if Galway are going to win this game, the St Thomas' clubman will need to impress once again.

Cooney finished with eight points in the Leinster final (one free) in a man-of-the-match performance, and he is no stranger to winning finals at Croke Park, having won an All-Ireland club title with St Thomas' in 2013.

Austin Gleeson has been hot and cold in this championship and although he put in a strong performance in their All Ireland semi-final win over Cork, he might not get it as easy as today.

Gearoid McInerney has been a towering figure at centre-back for Galway and he is sure to put Gleeson under huge pressure throughout, so the evens that Cooney outscores Gleeson looks value.

Recommendations
Draw or either team to win by one to four points
1pt Evs Paddy Power
Waterford substitutes to score over 2.5 points
2pts Evs Paddy Power
C Cooney to score more than Austin Gleeson
1pt Evs Ladbrokes

Waterford's bench has been key to their success this year, proving their worth time and time again at key stages of the game
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