Naughton prepares Galway for All Ireland semi-final ‘dogfight’

Galway senior ladies have no fresh injury worries ahead of their crunch All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry in Birr on Saturday (4pm ).

After disposing of Clare in the last eight, Gabriel Naughton’s side avoided kingpins Cork and a revitalised Monaghan who meet in the other semi on September 8.

Naughton is likely to select the same 15 that netted five goals when disposing of the Banner County to reach their first semi-final since 2005.

On Saturday Galway return to Birr to face the Kingdom, who edged Dublin at the same venue immediately after Galway put their name in the hat. Galway produced a fine league win against Kerry in Ballinasloe in the Spring, but the stakes are different now and Naughton is aware of how strong Kerry are.

“Galway beat them in the league by a couple of points, but in our [championship] involvement we haven’t played Kerry. We saw the second half of their game against Dublin and they are a big strong physical side.

“They have an effective system for minimising the opposition scores, something we have to work on. We know it’s going to be a massive battle. It’s probably going to be a dogfight and a very low-scoring game. Whoever wants it on the day and whoever gets a lucky break will make it to the final.”

Without competitive action for a lengthy spell, Galway eventually found their flow against Clare. Once again Mairead Coyne, Emma Curley, Aoibheann Daly, Edel Concannon and Annette Clarke produced the goods and they can expect to be named in the starting line-up.

Naughton has other firepower options in the form of Gillian O’Connor, Niamh Duggan and Lorna Joyce, while the mood in the camp is upbeat.

“It’s only been just over a week and we’ve had a couple of training sessions. After getting to the semi final there’s a lot of positivity around and, the further the journey, the greater the expectation and greater enjoyment in what has been a very enjoyable journey so far.”

The team will be named this afternoon (Thursday ).

The match will be broadcast live on TG4.


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