"He is the N'Golo Kante of hurling" - Barron makes you tired just watching him 2 months ago

"He is the N'Golo Kante of hurling" - Barron makes you tired just watching him

It was just before the second water-break in Saturday's All-Ireland qualifier when Jamie Barron said enough with this bush-beating, let's finish Galway off.

44 minutes were on the clock when he looked up, didn't see a pass on so said he might as well burn a few Galway boys before putting Waterford 15 points up. If you're from Waterford, you hadn't even stopped cheering by the time Barron had his sat-nav re-routed for Darach Fahy's puck-out, had flicked the breaking ball out in front of him before chasing it down to extend the gap to 16.

Advertisement

Barron has some engine you said. The man is unbelievable confirmed the person beside you.

It couldn't have been more than a minute later when Galway, well and truly in the panic station, won a 21-yard free which Joe Canning played short. Waterford goalie Shaun O'Brien did well to save the shot but as it re-bounded out of the small square in front of him, it was clear that the Galway revival would have started there and then if it wasn't for Fourmilewater dynamo, all conviction and pace, sweeping the ball up and driving it back out the field.

Speaking on Monday's GAA Hour Show, Paul Murphy called him the N'Golo Kante of hurling.

"His energy is incredible. He just has this extra yard that we always talk about. His head is up straight away, looking around for the best pass. He links the forwards and the backs and he'd just remind you of N'Golo Kante, he is the N'Golo Kante of hurling. There's just no end to him. He's one of the best players of this generation. There is no doubt about it. There's no fist-pumping, he mightn't have the profile but he just goes about his business, he gets that business done and overall, he's just incredibly unassuming."

If Barron is N'Golo Kante then Calum Lyons is the brother the French-man never knew he had.

Advertisement

"Calum Lyons just sums it all up really," added Murphy.

"He doesn't get tired. You're nearly getting annoyed looking at him because you're there going, why aren't you getting tired? He just runs up the line, gets it, pops it over and he's back in position in fifteen seconds. He's exploded onto the scene and he's been unbelievable..."

This blistering athleticism is a hallmark of the Waterford team, a Waterford team that, ever since Liam Cahill took over, have been hurling out of their collective skins. The stats back that up too because having gone two years without a championship win before his arrival, the Déise have in the last year and a half beaten Cork, Clare, Galway and Kilkenny under the Tipperary man's watch.

"We saw him on the sideline at the weekend and he was on fire. Even if players were hurling well, he was still getting onto them if they missed just one ball 'that's not good enough. He's instilled an unbelievable fire into these lads...It's amazing what he's done because he's just brought on all these players. Take Jack Fagan who came in from Meath to become one of the best forwards in the country. Stephen Bennett has become one of the top five forwards in the country under him too..."

"Something they've really focused in on is this support play off the shoulder. Patrick Curran or Jamie Barron got a ball at one stage in the first half after Dessie Hutchinson got a hook on the Galway player, they saw the Galway tackler coming, and they just popped it off the shoulder without looking. Then Jack Fagan did the same thing to send Calum Lyons off. It was just players doing looping runs and looping runs. As soon as they got the ball, every player was just thinking 'right, who am I going to pop it to now?' That's so hard to defend against.

Advertisement

"To play that game, your first touch has to be brilliant, and theirs' was just brilliant throughout the game. So Galway's bigger men couldn't nail them, couldn't hit them, couldn't impose themselves on Waterford..."

It's a fast-paced game-plan that their quarter final opponents Tipperary will find it hard against and a long story short, Murphy feels that Cahill will have his boys primed again.

Advertisement