Galway footballers, beaten last Sunday, now face Donegal this Saturday at 5pm in Markievicz Park.
At a small stretch it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they will beat Donegal, but then in the last eight they will face either Tyrone, Cork, or Dublin. Based on what we have seen thus far from our big ball team in the championship, can you see them beating any of those three? I hope I am wrong, but I cannot.
That said, we must live in hope, and with Matthew Clancy and Kieran Fitzgerald back in the starting line-up for the Donegal game, there appears to be a better balance in the side.
If Nicky Joyce can maintain his point-taking average from last Sunday and score the goal chances that come his way, and Michael Meehan gets better ball and starts like he finished last Sunday, and if Armstrong is kept closer to goal, then we do have a very potent inside line.
However they need ball and lots of it.We need to try to isolate those three players in one on ones and try to get Donegal to withdraw their half-back line.
John Joe Doherty and his team got a serious lesson off Michael Meehan in the league and they will be a lot shrewder this Saturday.
Karl Lacey was magnificent last weekend and cleaned out Paddy Bradley. It will be interesting to see if he is put marking Meehan or out picking up Padraig Joyce.
Up front Donegal will look to Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy to hit the scores. They shot a combined 1-08 from play against Derry and they must be stopped by a combination of Damien Burke, Finian Hanley, and Kieran Fitzgerald and pressure out the field.
Another man who must be stopped is Brian Roper. He is their link man and whoever picks him up must be like a rash on him all evening.
Donegal are beatable. They were putrid against Carlow and Clare before they found their form against Derry. Last weekend’s win and the disciplining that Doherty has done during the league could pay dividends now, and they will be in a good place coming down the short few miles to Sligo.
Next Saturday evening is about the Galway players putting aside whatever problems have been bothering them this year and putting their shoulders to the wheel for the good of the team and Galway football.
Maybe it is only a matter of time until they are unceremoniously dumped out of the championship, but that should not stop them fighting tooth and nail everyday that they are still in it to keep their dream alive.