Vital games for Galway in National League double-header on Sunday
Galway's Fergal Moore attempts to stop Tipperary's John O'Brien from scoring in action from the Allianz National Hurling League game in Pearse Stadium on Monday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy
By Ray Silke
Galway’s senior hurlers and footballers need to pick up the pieces this weekend in a double-header of National League action at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.
The hurlers need to get back to winning ways when they face Cork at 2.30pm, while the Galway footballers face Wexford at 12.45pm.
The double header is expected to attract a good crowd to the stadium and two victories would be regarded as a good return for the home supporters.
Following the hurlers’ defeat to Clare in Cusack Park, last Sunday’s outing against Tipperary was another disappointing performance as they went down by 4-22 to 1-20.
A lively and impressive Tipp outfit, who are gelling well under Eamon O’Shea, looked superior for vast sections of the game, although it took their third goal, by John O’Dwyer from a goal-mouth scramble, to put them in complete control.
Lar Corbett, who was immense all day, romped through late in the game to rub some salt into Galway wounds.
It was not a good display by the home side and Galway team manager Anthony Cunningham was at a loss to explain his team’s lethargy at stages in the game.
“I don’t know what it is,whether we’re over-training, but we looked very tired there,” he said. “We scored 1-20, but we leaked a lot at the back. We had chances for a couple of goals, but we would be disappointed with some of the defending.
“Some aspects of our game were not good enough. It’s something that we’ve worked at during the week.”
Cunningham said it was now “very important” to win this weekend against Cork.
“We were wide open last Sunday for a couple of the goals and we were just second to every ball. I don’t know whether it’s over-training, too long a season, or whether our touch is off, but we’ll sit down and discuss that with the players.”
Footballers face Wexford
And the Galway footballers will have to pick themselves up pretty sharpish after their heavy 1-15 to 0-10 defeat to Laois last Saturday.
They now face Wexford in round six of the NFL at the unusual time of 12.45pm.
With Wexford and Galway tied on five points apiece in division two and relegation a possibility for both counties going into the last two league games, Sunday is a crucial game.
If Galway were to lose this Sunday, they would then find themselves going up to Armagh in the last round of the series needing a win to avoid the trapdoor to division three. And that is not an ideal prospect.
Looking on the positive side, a win this weekend would leave Galway with seven points and Wexford on five, with one game left - Longford are already relegated.
Galway were very poor last Saturday in O'Moore Park and they need to find a bit of steel and purpose to see off the Wexford men who were heavily beaten by Westmeath last Monday by 4-11 to 0-16.
Galway, with home advantage and a good Galway support behind them courtesy of this double header, should have the ability and collective willpower and drive to collect two vital league points.
Better to be going up to Armagh on Sunday week with the two points guaranteeing division two football in 2014 in the satchel, rather than going up there looking for them.
Scorers for Galway against Laois: P Conroy 0-4(3fs), M Martin 0-3(fs), G Sice, N Coleman, M Meehan(f) 0-1 each.
Galway: M Breathnach, J Duane, F Hanley, G Sweeney, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell, G Sice, N Coleman, A Griffin, M Boyle, P Conroy, S Denvir, E Concannon, M Meehan, M Martin. Subs used: F Ó Curraoin for Griffin (42); S Armstrong for Concannon (44); C Doherty for Denvir (47), D Cummins for Martin (53), K Kelly for Bradshaw (57).