"Hegarty looks like he's hitting with a pitching wedge. Diarmaid looks like he's going with the driver" 4 weeks ago

"Hegarty looks like he's hitting with a pitching wedge. Diarmaid looks like he's going with the driver"

"What else more is there to say?"

Gearóid Hegarty went to town on Cork in the All-Ireland Final and, 48 hours on, still has folks marvelling over his performance.

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The St Patrick's clubman scored 2-2 and was the biggest contributor to Limerick's first half pummelling of Cork that all but ended the game as a contest by half-time.

Gearóid Hegarty dices with Luke Meade of Cork during the All-Ireland Senior Championship Final at Croke Park, Dublin. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Hegarty is the reigning Hurler of the Year and he has a good shout of matching his county with a back-to-back feat that would ruffle few feathers. Only Cian Lynch has a realistic chance of pipping him to the accolade, although both he and Hegarty will be joined by a swathe of teammates on the 2021 All Star team.

On the latest episode of The GAA Hour [LISTEN from 1:05:30 below] host Colm Parkinson discussed Hegarty's performance with Paul Murphy and Damien Hayes, and lingered on his unique sliothar-striking technique.

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Limerick players, from left, Seán Finn, Gearóid Hegarty Peter Casey, and Mike Casey celebrate at Croke Park. (Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile)

"Hegarty was the match-winner and he set them rolling," said Parkinson. "He scored 2-2 and missed two points as well.

"It's incredible - 2-2 in an All-Ireland Final in the first half and you're thinking Peter Casey was the main man."

Hayes agrees that Limerick had the final won by half-time, and that is why Hegarty's scoring burst in that wild first half was so vital. "I know nothing about the man," Hayes added, "but I bet that he was annoyed that he didn't end up with another 1-2, because he missed a goal chance and two long-range score [attempts] too. He could have had 3-4 in the opening half."

The scoring alone was impressive, but Hayes could not get over the work-rate and ground covered by the 27-year-old. To Parkinson, the striking style of Hegarty was worth dwelling on, and savouring.

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"Hegarty looks like he's hitting with a pitching wedge," he said. "Diarmaid Byrnes looks like he's going with the driver - he pulls on it.

"With Hegarty, it's that pitching wedge. It's a nice, little one with backspin on it."

"A bigger man, in hurling," Hayes explained, "can be more lanky or awkward, but he's not. You look at the length of his legs, when he's running away from lads, he's striding away. His second goal proved that - he got in, in front of the goal, so fast - but his striking is impeccable."

You can be as big, or small, as you like, but if you're blessed with wrists like Hegarty, you don't need to be scorching the leather off to find your target.

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There's some nature but a lot of nurture involved.

Hayes surmises that Hegarty and many of his dead-eyed Limerick teammates must be spending a fair amount of time working on their handling, wrist-work and first-time striking at ball walls and alleys.

"Every one in that Limerick team's striking was impeccable," he declared. "Even that [long-range] Barry Nash point, Jesus man, he threw that one over the bar at his ease."

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WATCH THAT FULL EPISODE HERE: