Pearse Stadium the place to be on Sunday for county hurling finals

The replay of the Galway county senior hurling final takes place this Sunday at Pearse Stadium (1.45pm ) with Craughwell and Sarsfields doing battle once again, to see who will take home the Tom Callanan trophy for 2015.

The senior game is preceded by the minor replay between Clarinbridge and Kilnadeema/Leitrim at noon.

The drawn senior game was not exactly epic stuff, ending at 0-12 each, and perhaps both sides were a bit uptight playing in their first county final for many years. 

Either way, there was not much to cheer about and many supporters I spoke to after the game felt underwhelmed by what they had seen. 

There were far too many rucks and bunched play all through the game and with space at a premium in both half-back lines, it was very difficult for forwards to show their scoring skills.

Craughwell manager Stephen Glennon probably summed up the mood of most supporters leaving Kenny Park two weeks ago when he hoped the replay would open up a bit more.

No one could deny the effort of both sides and individual players the last day out, but an increase in the quality of hurling on view, a few more scores from play and a few goals, would liven things up a bit in three days.

Both teams played with sweepers in the drawn game and, as neither side is likely to discontinue with that system, it is probably going to be very crowded in front of both goals again. Hence the free taking of Niall Morrissey (Sarsfields ) and Craughwell’s Niall Healy, will once again be critical to the outcome.

Morrissey hit 0-8 from placed balls in the drawn game with Healy raising five flags from frees.

Craughwell will be looking to full-forward Alan Callanan and young star Tomás Monaghan to help Healy out in the scoring stakes. If all three were to hit top form, they would be hard to stop. 

Midfielder Ger O’Halloran also chipped in with two points in a polished display in the drawn game and he can have a bit role to play for them again this weekend.

Sarsfields too will know that they will need some more scoring support from the likes of Joseph Cooney, Kerril Wade and Alan Ward for the excellent Morrissey if they are to go on and collect their first county title since 1997.

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