After a dismal performance against reigning league champions Kerry, Galway now face a crucial game against local rivals Roscommon when Pearse Stadium hosts the round two clash for the division one south teams at 2pm this Sunday.
Roscommon, despite a nine-point loss (0-16 to to 1-22 ) to All-Ireland champions Dublin in the weekend’s opening round, will be the happier of this Sunday’s competitors, while the manner of Galway’s 4-21 to 0-11 defeat to The Kingdom will have given Padraic Joyce some sleepless nights this week after his team was totally outclassed.
Galway were deservedly well beaten, displaying little drive or enthusiasm, and each Galway player lost his personal battle. Both the management team and the players must improve drastically if they are to get one over the Rossies, who have been a bogey team for Galway football in recent seasons.
The new condensed league season means Galway must play three games in as many weeks with a win this Sunday essential if Galway are to extend their stay in the top division to 2022.
Despite losing eight of his 2020 panel, Padraic Joyce still has plenty of experience to call upon if his team is to get past a determined and dogged Roscommon side managed by former Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham.
The Murtagh and Smith brothers bring fantastic talent and experience to their team, aided by the ever-consistent Cathal Cregg and Niall Kilroy. This will mean the Galway defenders must up their game massively and receive assistance from their midfield and forwards if they are to turn the tables and end a run of four consecutive defeats.
Corofin’s Bernard Power was one of few to come out of Killarney with any credit after making four brilliant saves to prevent his side from conceding double the amount of goals.
Jack Glynn, Dylan McHugh, Cathal Sweeney and Tomo Culhane on their debuts all got a tough introduction to senior intercounty football with the manner of this defeat. There is no doubt these four players, along with many of the youngsters who have been introduced into Galway football since Padraic Joyce became manager, have immense potential. Hopefully days like this will stand to them in the future.
However, with championship football only six weeks away, Galway will need to rapidly improve their performances before the Connacht semi-final on the first weekend of July, also against Roscommon. Everyone involved with this Galway team will be extremely disappointed with the Kerry game, but will be chomping at the bit to atone for that poor performance.
Although Galway were playing with the breeze, Kerry were 2-7 to 0-3 up after 23 minutes. By half-time they led by 10, also having spurned three goal chances. And there was no way back for Galway when key Kerry marksman David Clifford bagged two rapid-fire goals to put his side 4-12 to 0-6 up after 40 minutes.
Kerry scorers: D Clifford 3-6 (0-1f, 0-1m ), S O’Shea 0-7 (4f, 1m, 2 ‘45’ ), P Clifford 1-2, K Spillane 0-4, P O’Shea 0-1, T Walsh 0-1 (m )
Galway scorers: P Conroy 0-2 (1f ), D Comer 0-2, S Walsh 0-2 (1f ), M Tierney 0-1, D Conneely 0-1, S Kelly 0-1, K Molloy 0-1, R Finnerty 0-1 (f )
Kerry: K Fitzgibbon, B O Beaglaoich, T Morley, J Foley, P Murphy, G Crowley, G White, D Moran, J Barry, D Moynihan, S O’Shea, P Geaney, D Clifford, K Spillane, P Clifford. Subs: P O’Shea for P Geaney, D O’Connor for D Moran, T Walsh for D Clifford, A Spillane for B O Beagaloich, G O’Sullivan for G White, M Burns for D Moynihan, M Breen for P Murphy.
Galway: B Power; J Glynn, S Ó Maoilchiaráin, L Silke; G O’Donnell, D McHugh, J Heaney; P Cooke, P Conroy; P Kelly, M Tierney, E Brannigan; D Conneely, D Comer, S Walsh. Subs: C Sweeney for J Heaney, R Steede for P Cooke, R Finnerty for P Kelly, S Kelly for G O’Donnell, F O Laoi for P Conroy, T Culhane for D Conneely, K Molloy for E Brannigan