Hurling review: No-one ever said it would be this hard

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We haven’t yet seen either of the top two sides in the country, but we remarked on Thursday that the winner of Waterford v Cork would probably come closest to breaking their duopoly on Liam MacCarthy. With Waterford now putting Cork to the sword twice in five weeks, it seems safe to proclaim them as the great pretenders – certainly within the Munster ranks.

In Leinster it’s difficult to know where to start for Dublin, who will know they could have done better if only they’d shown up. Going eight points down in the first four minutes was hardly ideal but the Dubs never showed the gumption one would expect of them if they were to fight back – though being so far in arrears after ten or fifteen minutes meant there was never any real hope of a competitive climax and little point in trying to create it.

For Westmeath, it’s now a case of swallowing pride and going back to the dressing room for another outing and the hope of one big performance. Offaly, it’s a summer of wondering where it all went wrong – and a back-door match against either Clare, Westmeath or the Dubs. Nobody quite knows which of those three they’d prefer to meet.

For Galway, it’s a sense of… could this really be it? A win over Laois would bring them to Kilkenny and the prospect of more Leinster silverware. Last time that happened, it was the year they pushed the Cats all the way in two All-Ireland finals.

So: could this really be it?

Hurling rankings
(w/e June 7, 2015)
1 Kilkenny 2174
2 Tipperary 2101
3 (+1) Waterford 1982
4 (-1) Cork 1950
5 (+2) Galway 1921
6 Limerick 1890
7 (-2) Dublin 1851
8 Clare 1815
9 Wexford 1721
10 Offaly 1550
11 (+1) Laois 1535
12 (-1) Kerry 1534
13 Westmeath 1349
14 Carlow 1311
15 Kildare 1286
16 Antrim 1279
17 Down 1243
18 Derry 1202
19 Meath 1199
20 London 1097
21 Wicklow 1061
22 (+1) Roscommon 1056
23 (-1) Armagh 1007
24 Tyrone 922
25 Donegal 900
26 Mayo 887
27 Fingal 768
28 Monaghan 743
29 Louth 610
30 Longford 610
31 Fermanagh 574
32 Warwickshire 522
33 (+1) Leitrim 367
34 (-1) Sligo 364
35 Lancashire 173

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