Galway minor hurlers hope to replicate the success of Galway seniors last weekend and qualify for the 2012 All-Ireland finalwhen they face Tipperary in Croke Park (1.30pm ) on Sunday.
The experienced and successful Mattie Murphy is the Galway minor bainisteoir again this season and he knows his panel has a tough job against the highly-rated Tipperary who are favourites to win the title.
Murphy pulls no punches in his assessment of the challenge.
“Tipp are a very good side. They won the Nenagh Co-op (u-16 ) two years ago very handsomely and we are under no illusions. We had it easier than we expected against Wexford [in the All-Ireland quarter-final] and we will have to improve a lot on our performance that day if we are going to advance and set up a date with the seniors in three weeks’ time. This Tipperary side is top class, and there is no point in saying they are not.”
That said, Murphy is hopeful his charges can produce a winning performance to see them face Dublin on September 9.
“We have some very good hurlers in the panel this year and they have worked very hard over the past few months. Some of them have medals from last year and are keen to collect another one this year. Sunday will be a big step up in class from the Wexford game, and we are looking forward to the challenge. It is hard to call, but whichever side performs on the day will be in an All-Ireland final. ”
The Galway team to face Tipperary on Sunday will be announced tomorrow night (Friday ) but it is expected that there will not be too many changes from the side that took the pitch against Wexford and won on a score-line of 4-20 to 2-11.
The goals in that one-sided encounter came from Michael Mullins (Gort ), Darragh Dolan (Cappataggle ), Adrian Morrissey (Liam Mellowes ) and Jason Flynn (Tommie Larkins ).
Interestingly, two of the minors this year also have brothers in the senior set-up. Shane Cooney’s older brother Conor, and Éanna Burke’s older brother David, and all four play with St Thomas.