Newbridge is next up for footballers after Kerry win

Galway corner forward Ian Burke and Kerry's Brian Ó Beaglaoích in action from the Super 8 game at Croke Park on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway corner forward Ian Burke and Kerry's Brian Ó Beaglaoích in action from the Super 8 game at Croke Park on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

The Galway footballers will be hoping to follow up their impressive victory over Kerry in Croke Park on Sunday with another two points face Kildare in Newbridge this Sunday at 2pm.

Kevin Walsh's squad is in a reasonably good position now to qualify from the group, but he and his players are fully aware Kildare will be massively focussed on getting a result from Saint Conleth's Park.

Another defeat for Cian O'Neill's charges would see them in qualification trouble for an All-Ireland semi-final - the Lillies are away to Kerry in their last game, while Galway host Monaghan in Pearse Stadium in their round three game.

Kildare went down by two points, 0-15 to 1-10, against Monaghan last Sunday and they will believe if they were a bit more efficient up front and got more ball into full-forward Daniel Flynn, they could have taken at least a point from that game.

Kildare have some good players in Flynn, Fergal Conway, Kevin Feely and Tommy Moolick at midfield, and defenders Johnny Byrne and Peter Kelly.

Galway's win came at a high price

Unfortunately, Galway's momentous win over Kerry came at high price.

The loss of midfielder Paul Conroy for the rest of the season with a horrible double leg break is a massive blow to the player, to his club St James, and to Galway.

Everyone in Galway GAA will have their fingers crossed he can make a full recovery from the injury and be back doing what he loves in 2019.

He was impressive form, starting last weekend's game with link play, hard work on kick-outs, and a lovely point from play before his clash with Kerry's Seán Ó Shea. With Kieran Duggan (Annaghdown ) already out injured (broken wrist ) for the next few weeks, it greatly reduces Galway's options around the middle for the upcoming games and hopefully a possible All-Ireland semi-final.

Unless Duggan can make it back soon, then either U20 midfielder Céin D'Arcy (Caherlistrane ) or Michael DalyMichael Daly are possible options in the engine room if anything was to happen to either Cooke or Flynn.

Fiontán Ó Curraoin is also back training with the squad and perhaps he might be an option as an impact sub around the middle, if he has the required fitness and match practice, Ideally both Tom Flynn and Peter Cooke stay injury free.

Lads really stood up

To win big games in Croke Park or anywhere else a team needs four or five lads to really stand up and produce big performances. We used to say in our day if nine or ten players won their individual duels, we would win, but a few stellar displays really tips the advantage in your favour.

Overall it was a really good team display, hard working and efficient.

From Ruairí Lavelle in goal, who was top-class on restarts, to substitutes Peter Cooke, Patrick Sweeney with his goal, and especially Adrian Varley with two super points, all made big contributions. Varley must be pushing hard at this stage for a starting geansaí.

Other players such as Gareth Bradshaw at centre-back, Eoghan Kerin, Cathal Sweeney, Declan Kyne with a lovely point, Tom Flynn who did really well at midfield,and Brannigan and Heaney, who worked savagely hard to get on the end of breaks, deserve credit too.

That Shane Walsh, Ian Burke and Seán Kelly were all selected by different media organisations as their man of the match confirms the contributions the three made.

Walsh hit 0-5 (4 frees ), and both his point from play and stunning run and lay-off for the goal were things of real beauty, showing his undoubted class,

What was most pleasing in this display was that he took the right option in hand-passing the ball to Sweeney for Galway's goal.

It showed a tangible improvement in his decision making and top level peripheral vision that will only improve him as a player.

Burke has been immense

Ian Burke was superb. His first marker was taken off at half-time with Burke having two points on the board, and then Killian Young was correctly red-carded for hitting him. Burke has been outstanding in the past two years, and his constant movement and decision making, both on and off the ball, is super to watch. On form, he is one of the best forwards in Ireland.

Young Seán Kelly had a superb game too, and his work-rate and stamina is awesome. The covering he does is crucial to Galway's game plane. He also kicked over a good point and was many people's choice as the team's most valuable player last weekend.

Galway will need more of the same in three days' time if they are to beat the home side. An improvement in their shooting as they hit 12 wides last weekend - some from very good positions - would help. Perhaps the best displays in the collective unit this Sunday will come from Damien Comer or Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh, or someone who did not even see much if any action last weekend.

Sport is fickle

Last Sunday's win was terrific and good to bury a few stats that had been hanging around for far too long - a first win over Kerry since 1965.

However, the Galway players and management team will have consigned last week to the memory banks at this juncture.

They know a win on Sunday in Newbridge would have them with one foot in an All-Ireland semi-final. And that is a prize worth fighting for.

Galway scorers: Shane Walsh 0-5 (4f ), Patrick Sweeney 1-0, Ian Burke 0-2, Adrian Varley 0-2, Damien Comer 0-1, Paul Conroy 0-1, Declan Kyne 0-1, Sean Kelly 0-1. Kerry scorers: David Clifford 1-5 (1f ), Paul Geaney 0-2, Kevin McCarthy 0-1, Stephen O’Brien 0-1, Shane Murphy 0-1 (’45 )

GALWAY: R Lavelle; D Kyne, S Andy Ó Ceallaigh, E Kerin; C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, J Heaney; P Conroy, T Flynn; E Brannigan, M Daly, S Kelly; I Burke, D Comer, S Walsh. Subs: P Cooke for Conroy (25 ), A Varley for Daly (55 ), G O’Donnell for Bradshaw (64 ), P Sweeney for Comer (65 ), J Duane for Flynn (74 ), F Burke for Ian Burke (76 ).

KERRY: S Murphy; J Foley, P Crowley, B Ó Beaglaoich; P Murphy, K Young, G White; D Moran, J Barry; K McCarthy, S Ó Shea, S O’Brien; D Clifford, P Geaney, J O’Donoghue. Subs: T O’Sullivan for Ó Beaglaoich (ht ), A Maher for Barry (47 ), Ml Burns for O’Donoghue (52 ), M Griffin for Foley (65 ), D Walsh for O’Shea (65 ), B Keane for McCarthy (65 ).


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