The Galway senior hurlers face Limerick this Sunday in Pearse Stadium (2.30pm ) in their rescheduled round five league game, preceded by the Galway footballers against Monaghan with a 12.30pm throw-in.
A victory is required in three days’ time if Mícheál Donoghue's squad is to be playing in Division 1A in 2019.
Both teams have won four games on the trot in 1B, but a draw this weekend would not suffice for the home side. Level pegging at full-time would see the Treaty men promoted, given their scoring difference (+56 ) is far superior to Galway’s (+27 ).
Despite being without their Na Piarsaigh players, who are preparing for the All-Ireland club final on Saturday week in Croke Park, John Kiely's men are still going smoothly. In their last game they defeated Antrim easily on a score-line of 3-21 to 0-13. And they will be coming up the M17 motorway to Salthill on Sunday morning looking to get a fifth win and a place in the top tier for next year.
In their win over Antrim, they had big scores from former U21 star Aaron Gillane, who hit 1-5, while Graeme Mulcahy notched 1-2, with Diarmaid Byrnes and David Reidy hitting 0-4 each.
Jason Flynn hit 1-09
Galway’s form has improved too over the past few weeks and they defeated Pat Gilroy's Dublin by 1-20 to 1-14 in their last outing, with Jason Flynn hitting the headlines with his tally of 1-09 (0-6fs ).
Cathal Mannion also caught the eye with 0-4 from play, while his brother Padraig, Niall Burke and Seán Loftus hit 0-2 each.
In that game Galway had eight of their All-Ireland starting winning line-up on duty, with Colm Callanan, Dáithí Burke, Aidan Harte, team captain David Burke, Joseph Cooney, Joe Canning and Jonathan Glynn all not taking part for a myriad of reasons.
Considering the number of players absent and the impact some of the new panel members have made, such as Sean Loftus, Jack Grealish and Shane Cooney, it looks like there will be plenty of competition for starting jerseys over the coming months which is exactly what is required if Galway are to retain the titles collected last year.
Promotion from 1B was always expected to come down to this final round game, and that is exactly what has happened.
Galway beat Limerick by 1-21 to 1-11 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League semi-final and a similar performance and result would be ideal on Sunday.
After the cancellation of both games last weekend due to weather, and a lack of any GAA action, a huge crowd in the region of 15,000 is expected in the stadium on Sunday.
For those who cannot make the games, they are live on TG4.