Davy Fitzgerald expects the National League final to be far from pretty

Clare play Waterford in Semple Stadium on Sunday

Davy Fitzgerald expects the National League final to be far from pretty

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Sunday's clash between Clare and Waterford is the first time the two teams have met in a National League final.

Both teams have won the title three times, with Waterford going into the game looking to defend their crown. Clare haven't reached the final since 2005, but have failed to win the title since 1978.

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald has already led the team to an All-Ireland triumph and he hopes to add a National League to his managerial CV. He told The42 that despite the two teams meeting again in June, both counties will want to win.

"People are saying will ye not hold back for the championship? No. If we can try and win it we will. Don’t be fooled, Derek McGrath is saying the exact same thing if I know him – which I do. Whatever he says afterwards, he will be trying to win it and I’m the exact same."

Derek McGrath led Waterford to the National League title last year. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Fitzgerald previously was in charge of Waterford, and led the team to an All-Ireland final in 2008. He has been impressed with how manager Derek McGrath has led the team in recent years.

"Waterford started playing a certain way about a year and a half ago. I think they have developed it massively"

"I have been looking at it, looking at it for a while and it will be hard enough to break it down, how they play. It mightn’t be the prettiest game ever on Sunday because the middle third will be very congested I think."

Whatever happens on Sunday, both teams will be meeting again in their next competitive game. The National League final may be that in name, but it also may be the start of an excellent summer of hurling.