Galway United still in the running to pull off the great escape

Galway United's 1-1 draw against Bohemians in the Airtricity Irish Premier Division last Friday was another boost to their hopes of avoiding relegation this season.

The result left Galway four points adrift of safety with six games to go, but their recent form suggests they can pull off a miraculous escape. Just five points cover Limerick, St Patrick's Athletic, Finn Harps, Sligo Rovers and Galway, with two of that quintet set to join Drogheda United in the First Division next season.

Galway have won six and drawn one of their last ten games in the league and cup, a run of form that suggests their odds are worth monitoring at Unibet as the season reaches its climax. Four of Galway's remaining games are at home, whilst visits to Bray Wanderers and Limerick should hold no fears for Shane Keegan's much-improved side.

Galway's home fixtures include meetings with Sligo and St Patrick's, and six points from both games could blow the relegation battle wide open. With an Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup quarter-final against Limerick also on the agenda, Galway still have plenty to play for this season.

Keegan's recent signing of defender Niall Maher looks an excellent move, with the former Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool and Bury youngster enjoying an impressive debut against Bohemians.

Avoiding the drop could herald a brighter future

The area has not previously been thought of as a footballing hotbed, although that has started to change over the past few years. Dundalk’s Stephen O’Donnell, QPR youngster Ryan Manning and Preston’s Daryl Horgan are all from the county, and the club hopes many more will follow in their footsteps. Ryan's brother, Ronan, has been heavily tipped as a star of the future, although it's unlikely Galway could hang on to the 17-year-old if a bigger club came calling.

Keegan's previous success in taking Wexford into the Premier League for the first time in their history proves that the 35-year-old knows what it takes to build a successful club. Avoiding relegation given the financial situation at Galway would be another feather in his cap.

Having qualified for Europe on three occasions back in the 1980s and 1990s, Galway has the potential to be one of the stronger Irish Premier Division teams.

Finishing outside the bottom three this season would be the first step on the road to a brighter future and it would be foolish to back against Keegan's men doing just that.

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