The Galway u-21 hurlers, under the guidance of Anthony Cunningham, travel to Tullamore on Saturday to take on Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final at 6pm.
Traditionally Galway would be expected to beat Dublin at this grade, but Dublin, who have been concentrating on their underage development, have been showing signs of increasing improvement.
This current Dublin side is a case in point. They have already defeated a highly-rated Kilkenny side by five points (0-12 to 0-17 ) in the Leinster semi-final and Wexford by two goals (2-15 to 0-15 ) in the Leinster final to get to the All-Ireland semi-final. They are a good and experienced team.
Having played those few championship games, they have gathered some momentum, and Galway will know they face a serious test of their mettle.
Cunningham, who is also well known in football circles due to his success in winning a Connacht senior club title with St Brigid’s from Roscommon, is hoping his charges can jump this particular fence and reach the final against either Tipperary or Antrim.
“Dublin are a very good side. I saw them in both their games against Wexford and Kilkenny. They have a few from their senior squad involved and they won the Leinster title three years ago too at minor level so they have retained their form and improved since then,” he says.
“ Training has gone well for us and we have been training since May. We have been pleased with our preparations and, despite coming into the game with no championship matches, we are confident of giving a good display.
“We have had to rely on challenge games to judge our form which is not ideal, but we just have to get on with it and try to produce a top quality performance for Saturday evening.”