Galway all set for football semi-final double header

A couple of tasty fixtures are on the schedule for the Galway Senior Football Championship which this weekend hosts the semi-finals, and both games are to be hosted in Pearse Stadium as a double header on Sunday afternoon.

In what has been one of the most competitive championships in a long time, both fixtures are difficult to call. It is expected they will go right down to the final whistle, similar to each of the quarter final games. However, the weather is likely to be more of a factor as winter draws closer, which has been seen over the past week.

The first of the double headers is the clash of Annaghdown and Salthil-Knocknacarra with a throw-in at 2pm.

Annaghdown’s journey to the semi-final so far has been a whirlwind. After overcoming Barna by the requisite 12 points in the final group stage came, Alan Flynn’s men were full value for their two-point victory over St Michael’s in the quarter-final.

These two teams met earlier in the championship when Salthill-Knocknacarra won at a canter by 10 points. It would be naïve for them to think this game will pan out in a similar fashion, given Annaghdown's current form and momentum. In that group game, Damien Comer was double marked by the Seasiders and he can expect similar treatment again on Sunday afternoon. Much will depend on the star forward for the result to fall in Annaghdown’s favour.

John O’Mahony will be hoping Robert Finnerty is fit for his side after he was taken off early in Salthill-Knocknacarra’s quarter-final victory over Tuam Stars with a back injury. O’Mahony will have been grateful for the semi-finals having been delayed a week to give his talisman an extra seven days of recovery. This is a tough one to call, but Salthill-Knocknacarra will be favourites to edge it.

For the third year in succession, Moycullen and Mountbellew-Moylough meet in the championship. This gigantic clash will throw in at 3.45pm on Sunday,

Most people’s expected winners of this year’s Frank Fox will come from this match, given the form both have displayed all season. It is hard to argue with that opinion.

Both teams have been there before, winning the championship in 2020 and 2021 respectively, and the two teams lining out on Sunday will be made up largely of the same personnel who played in both of those years.

A few notable absentees of the starting lineups from those years come from Mountbellew-Moylough with Michael Daly and Shane Moran both suffering with long-term injuries. Their physicality and guile will be a massive loss to Val Daly’s team on Sunday as they aim to inhibit a hugely athletic Moycullen team with the likes of the Kellys, Owen Gallagher and Peter Cooke all operating around the middle.

Moycullen will be looking to limit the damage of Patrick Kelly, Eoin Finnerty and Barry McHugh in particular, who has been their main scorer all season. McHugh notched 0-10 in the quarter-final against Corofin on a day when Finnerty and Kelly were kept quiet.

It is an impossible game to call from the outset, but the bookies have Mountbellew-Moylough as favourites. Either way there will be jubilation for one of them come 5.30pm Sunday evening.


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