The build up to the league was dominated by the return of Henry Shefflin to inter-county hurling but this time at the helm of a Galway side looking for some direction. In the end for Galway, it was a very up and down league campaign with great victories over the likes of Limerick and Clare mixed with crushing defeats to Wexford and Cork. This can partly be attributed to the fact that Shefflin used more players than any other county and lead to such a varied performance from the side.
Galway remain very much an unknown quantity as far as the championship is concerned with such a revolving team it can be hard to know what is the best 15. Will the loss of Joe Canning be too much to overcome? In a way there are certain parts of his game that can be replicated by other players such as free taking responsibilities going to Evan Niland who showed in the Fitzgibbon cup to be one of the best free takers in the country.
Other lessons that have been learned from the league that we can take into the championship is to not discount Waterford who looked to be back to their best in the league final victory over Cork. Limerick look to be coasting through the league and waiting until the championship starts to start playing Hurling, but that is easier said than done with provincial rivals Cork performing so well.
The chances of other teams are still to be questioned with the Wexford surprising everyone with a flawless league campaign and Kilkenny still looking dangerous under Cody. Other than this the likes of Tipperary are still dangerous no matter what kind of league form their in.
This year’s league campaign will tell us little about the shape of the All-Ireland contenders with Limerick not showing much and Galway showing off everyone I their squad it will be a very different story come summertime.
With all this said about Limerick it will be hard to look past them as clear favourites after the display they put on in last year’s championship to try and measure them on this league campaign would be laughable.
The only question will be who will they come up against in the final and the most likely opponent would have to be Waterford who are one of the only counties that could rival limerick man for man. Galway will be the dark horse and it will be interesting to see how they gel in the Leinster championship, but if they can they have shown they have what it takes to bring Limerick to the wire.