Tribesmen’s u-21 hurlers can expect titanic struggle with the Dubs

The Galway u-21 hurlers will hope to follow the Galway minors’ example when they face Dublin in Semple Stadium on Saturday (7pm ) in the All-Ireland final.

Anthony Cunningham and his management team have worked diligently with this squad over the past few months and hopes are high they can win the county’s 10th All-Ireland title at this grade.

Galway were impressive in their narrow two-point win over a highly-fancied Limerick in the semi-final and they will need to at least match that performance, if not improve, if they are to defeat a highly-rated Dublin outfit.

Niall Burke was the scoring star the last day out with 0-7 from play and he, along with team captain Barry Daly and senior midfielder David Burke, were key players for the side.

Wing-forward Tadhg Haran had a sparkling first half and also notched 0-7 (5fs ) over the hour.

At the back Galway will look to Niall Donoghue, Ger O’Halloran and Paul Gordan to keep the Dublin forwards at bay.

Johnny Coen, James Regan and Bernard Burke were involved in last year’s u-21 campaign and have considerable senior club experience and they will need to produce solid displays if the Tribesmen are to collect.

Galway have a very good record against Dublin at u-21 level and have defeated them on all three occasions when the sides have met.

Galway were victorious in the All-Ireland finals of 1972 and 2007 and they also beat them by 2-14 to 1-10 in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final before going down heavily in the final to a terrific Tipperary outfit.

Anthony Cunningham’s side are strong favourites in many quarters this weekend and are 8/11 to collect the title. Dublin are 5/4 to win what would be the county’s first u-21 hurling title.

It should be a titanic struggle and, with senior star Liam Rushe in their team, Dublin will be difficult to beat.

However, based on their display against Limerick and the hurt that should still be there from last year’s defeat in the final and the high quality preparations that have been done, it is reasonable to hope the Galway u-21s can deliver another hurling title to the county this Saturday.

The team that started against Limerick in the semi-final: J Ryan, D Connolly, N Donoghue, G O'Halloran, R Foy, P Gordan, J Grealish, J Coen, D Burke, C Cooney, N Burke, T Haran, J Regan, B Daly, D Glennon.

*The game will be shown live on TG4.

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