Galway open Connacht championship in New York

The Galway senior footballers start their 2010 Connacht football championship campaign away to New York this weekend. The game is fixed for 4pm (local time ) in Gaelic Park and will be refereed by Maurice Condon.

The team is due to fly out today (Thursday ) and return on Monday morning. The travelling party will be without Gareth Bradshaw, Paul Conroy, Seán Armstrong, Conor Healy and David Reilly who are exam tied.

Despite their absence anything except a comprehensive victory for the away team would be a major turn-up for the books. The winners will face either Mayo or Sligo in the Connacht semi-final on June 27.

If Mayo beat Sligo, the game will be in McHale Park, or if Kevin Walsh’s division three champions are the victors, it would be a home game for Joe Kernan’s charges.

It is difficult to get too excited about Sunday’s game as Galway should be far too strong for New York. However it will give us a chance to see how the management team is thinking about some positions for the real championship team.

A big plus is that Padraig Joyce is coming back to full fitness and he was in sparkling form, shooting some sublime points, in Killererin’s recent league win over St Michael’s. He also played a role in last Friday’s challenge against Cavan which Galway won by 2-14 to 1-07. The former All-Star only played about 20 minutes as management did not want to over extend him after his long absence through injury.

Joyce is a superb and clinical finisher and, while it is may be expecting too much of him to be a full 70 minutes championship player, he would be a fantastic player to come off the bench with the game in the balance.

The last time Galway played New York in championship was in May 2005 and they won on a score-line of 3-14 to 0-6.

For the record, the team that lined out that day was Alan Keane, Richie Fahey, Kieran Fitzgerald, Val Feeney, Deccie Meehan, Damien Burke, Michael Comer, Joe Bergin (0-2 ), Niall Coleman, Paul Clancy (1-2 ), Michael Donnellan (0-2 ), John Devane, Michael Meehan (2-2 ), Padraig Joyce (cpt ) (0-2 ), Matthew Clancy ( )-3 ). And the subs brought on were Clive Monaghan, Seán De Paor, Shay Walsh (0-1 ), Tomás Giblin and Barry Cullinane.

 

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