Galway hurlers must beat Dublin to avoid relegation

The Galway hurlers head to Tullamore this Sunday to take on Dublin (2.30pm ) knowing that it is one of the most important games they will play this season.

It is a "must win" game for the Tribesmen as relegation to division 1B (division two really ) would be a major knock to their objectives over the coming year or two.

The game has been brought forward to 2.30pm after the division 3A final between Monaghan and Fingal was called off earlier in the week.

Galway coach Mattie Kenny, along with Tom Helebert and Anthony Cunningham, is fully aware of the importance of a positive result this weekend.

"We know that Sunday is a vital game,” says Mattie Kenny. “We have prepared very well since the last day out against Kilkenny. The players are very keen to go out and produce a much higher quality display and performance than the one we got in Nowlan Park.

“We are going to Tullamore seeking a win, however the same can be said of Dublin and there is a real championship feel to the tie. The stakes for both sides are very high."

Galway trained on Tuesday night and they will select their starting 15 tonight (Thursday ) after another squad get-together.

They have some injury concerns, while both Joseph Cooney and Declan Connolly are ruled out of selection for the weekend. On the positive front David Burke and Joe Canning are well on the way to recovery and both may see action this Sunday.

According to Kenny, no decision will be made until both players are fully assessed this evening.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed that David will be available and we will also have to wait and see with Joe too. Obviously it would be terrific to have Joe back, but we don't want to rush him, and it is important to give players a chance to be fully injury free before they are selected for competitive action. We are well up for the game and, no matter who is picked to play, we are hoping for a really good team performance from everyone that is involved."

Dublin will come to Tullamore re-energised after a four-day training camp in Portugal. Anthony Daly's side flew out last Thursday and returned on Monday. After making history last year when they won the league, the Dubs will be very keen to avoid slipping down the ranks just a season later.

Dublin are favourites for Sunday's game at 4/6, with Galway at 11/8 outsiders.

The teams met in the opening round of the league in Pearse Stadium, with the home side winning by 0-20 to 0-13.

Galway supporters will be hoping Anthony Cunningham's charges can produce a similar result this weekend.

Supporters’ bus

The Galway Hurling Supporters’ Club and Bus Eireann will provide a bus to O'Connor Park, Tullamore, this Sunday for those wishing to travel to the Galway v Dublin Allianz Hurling League division IA relegation play-off.

The bus departs Ceannt Station 9.15am, Oranmore Community Centre 9.25am, Moylans Loughrea 9.45am, The Square Portumna 10.10am, Haydens Hotel Ballinasloe 10.40am, arriving in Tullamore 12 noon.

The price of the bus is €10 and the bus will return directly after the game. To reserve a seat no later than 2.30pm tomorrow, text 085 8614084 with your name and pick-up point or email; [email protected].

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