Hurlers’ focus now turns to opening league joust with the Cats

After last weekend's 2-19 to 1-21 defeat to Dublin in the Walsh Cup semi-final at Parnell Park, Galway now turn their attention to the first round of the National Hurling League in a fortnight’s time when they face Kilkenny in Pearse Stadium (Feb 24 ).

Galway will have to plan for that clash with the All-Ireland champions without regular midfielder Andy Smith following his dismissal in last Saturday's defeat to Dublin, which carries a four week suspension.

However on the positive front, Joe Canning, who was a notable absence last weekend due to a rib injury, is expected to be available to face the Cats.

Team manager Anthony Cunningham expects the Portumna ace to be well recovered in time for the Cats’ trip to Salthill.

"We just didn't want to risk him against Dublin. It's not serious and he should be okay shortly," the Galway boss said.

His Dublin counterpart, Anthony Daly, was pleased with his side's one-point victory over 14-man Galway last Saturday.

“We stayed with it and that was the most pleasing thing. There were times in the second half where frustration was getting the better of the lads, with mistakes being made, but we kept at it and eventually we got the breaks,” said Daly.

The home side made a bright start against Galway, with a Paul Ryan goal and three points from Johnny McCaffrey handing them an early lead. However, despite the 18th minute dismissal of Andy Smith, Galway led 1-11 to 1-9 at the half time, with Jonathan Glynn scoring Galway's three-pointer.

Niall Healy, who impressed throughout, hit a few scores in the second half, but a Danny Sutcliffe goal and late points from Shane Durkin and Ryan ensured Galway were edged out by a single score.

Scorers for Galway: N Healy 0-11 (6fs, 1 65 ), J Glynn 1-0, D Glennon 0-3, D Hayes, A Harte 0-2, P Brehony, T Haran, A Callanan 0-1 each.

Galway: C Callanan; F Moore, K Hynes, J Coen; D Collins, T Óg Regan, A Harte; A Smith, I Tannion; D Hayes, J Glynn, P Gordon; N Healy, T Haran, D Glennon. Subs: P Brehony for Gordon (22 ), P Killeen for Regan (32 ), A Callanan for Haran (47 ), S Maloney for A Callanan (65 ).

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