Do or die for Galway hurlers on Saturday
By Ray Silke
The Galway senior hurlers must go back to the well this Saturday and produce a big performance when they face Dublin at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, (4pm) in their relegation play-off.
It is simple. The winner stays up in division 1A for 2013, and the loser slips down to 1B. Hence the stakes are high.
After a slow start Anthony Cunningham’s charges produced a solid second half and extra-time performance last Sunday in Tullamore and thankfully they looked much sharper and fresher than they did in their heavy defeat to Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.
The management team will hope the team can build on last weekend’s display and get the result to stay up in division one this weekend. Galway will have learnt a lot from last Sunday’s game and they are likely to make some adjustments to the team selection based on individual performances.
Joe Canning really came into the game and flourished when he was moved to centre-forward, likewise Tony Óg Regan seemed much more composed and happy at centre-back as opposed to the wing.
Iarla Tannian also did well on his introduction to midfield and may have done enough to earn a starting jersey on Saturday. The same can be said for Cyril Donnellan who started in place of Andy Smith, who had aggravated a shoulder injury before the game, and Johnny Coen, who came on before half time for Niall Donoghue.
Joe Canning back with a blast
Honours were even last Sunday as first Galway came from three points behind heading into injury-time of normal time, then 13-man Dublin came with two late points to bring it to a replay.
From a Galway perspective it was terrific to see Joe Canning back in action and he was superb in the second half, giving a virtuoso performance.
Dublin were marginally ahead at the break last weekend, 0-9 to 0-7, but Galway were denied a few goals by the excellent Gary Maguire in the Dublin goal, although Damien Hayes will feel he should have scored his opportunity.
There was a vast improvement in play from both sides in the second half, with Canning almost single-handedly dragging Galway into the game.
The Portumna star hit 12 points in total and, if he can do something similar this Saturday along with a better start from the Tribesmen, the dreaded drop to division 1B can be avoided.
The game is live on TG4.
Supporters bus to O’Moore Park
The Galway Hurling Supporters’ Club and Bus Eireann will provide a bus to O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, this Saturday for supporters wishing to travel to the game:
The details are as follows: Depart Ceannt Station 12 noon, Oranmore Community Centre 12.20pm, Moylans Loughrea 12.50pm, Haydens Hotel Ballinasloe 1.20pm. Arrive Portlaoise 2.50pm approx.
The price of the bus is €10pp and the bus will return directly after the game.
To reserve a seat by no later than 2.30pm tomorrow (Friday) text 085-8614084 with name and pick up point, or email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Galway: F Flannery, K Hynes, D Collins, G O’Halloran, N Donoghue, F Moore (cpt), T Og Regan, D Burke 0-1, B Daly, C Cooney 0-1, N Burke 0-5 (4f), C Donnellan 0-2, D Glennon, J Canning 0-12 (6f), D Hayes 0-2. Subs: J Coen 0-1 (Donoghue 31), I Tannian (Daly 35), J Regan 0-1 (Glennon 56), P Brehony (Cooney 59), B Burke (N Burke 68). Bloods subs: I Tannian (Canning 28/31); B Burke (Cooney 29/33). Extra-time subs: P Shiel (Hynes 80+3); J Glynn 0-1 (B Burke 84); N Burke (D Burke 89).
Dublin: G Maguire; R Trainor, P Kelly, N Corcoran; P Schutte, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey (cpt) 0-1, M Carton; C McCormack 1-0, R O’Dwyer, L Rushe; R O’Carroll 1-0, D Sutcliffe 0-3, P Ryan 0-9 (8f, 1 65). Subs: S Lambert 0-1 (Trainor 25); D Treacy 0-1 (O’Dwyer 48); A McCrabbe 0-1 (Carton 56); O Gough (Schutte 60); N McMorrow 0-3 (1f, 1 65), (McCormack 65). Extra-time subs: O’Dwyer (McCaffrey 70); M Quilty (Boland 70); D Plunkett 0-1 (P Ryan 76); E Dillon (Treacy 84); P Carton (O’Carroll 84).