This was a canter for Galway as Shane O’Neill picked up a convincing victory in his first National League game as manager, although playing against Westmeath’s 14 men for all of the second half softened his side’s route to victory at Pearse Stadium.
Kilkenny have had little time to recover and re-energise since last Sunday. Fatigue will be a factor this weekend and it will be easier to defend a lead rather than chase a deficit in the finishing stretch.
Galway hurling captain David Burke doesn’t believe any team employing a sweeper will lift Liam MacCarthy and has claimed Waterford could benefit from not having Tadhg De Búrca available for next month’s All-Ireland semi-final against Cork.
With the destination of the Liam MacCarthy Cup wide open, this could prove to be the All-Ireland series from heaven. Herelooks at seven individuals — not all of them superstars — who’ll have a say in the outcome of the 2017 hurling championship