Another Trip to Tipp for Galway hurling fans

Do you remember the famous Trip to Tipp musical experiences? Are you too young to remember them?

FYI - They were three-day féile concerts that were held in Semple Stadium in the 1990s in early August and they were great auld craic. Many a couple headed off down the Portumna road for a bit of dancing and high-jinks, with the tent in the boot.

Tempus Fugit. They seem like something from a different age now, and not many under 35 years of age would remember them, or have even heard of them.

The last one held in Semple Stadium was in 1994, and had acts like The Prodigy, The Cranberries, Rage against the Machines, and The House of Pain in the line-up.

And let us hope that the league semi-final this Sunday against Kilkenny in Thurles (3.45pm ) will not turn into a house of pain for the Galway hurlers.

Galway team captain Fergal Moore is looking forward to the game and is hopeful the team can get back to the standard of hurling that rocked the Leinster championship last summer.

"We have been training very well over the past few weeks, but we know that we will have to improve on what we produced during some games in the league if we are to get to the league final,” he says.

“ We are delighted to be in a league semi-final, but we have to try to win it now and that is the most important thing for Sunday. If we win this weekend, we will be playing in a league final on May 5 and that is a big target for us now. However, we are not looking past Sunday and we know that Kilkenny will be well fired up for the game.”

Galway will be without the influential Niall Burke who had an operation on a calf injury recently and he is due to return to light jogging by the end of the week. The Oranmore man is a loss as he is a good target man at centre-forward and he scored 1-2 last year in the drawn All-Ireland final.

Niall Healy is also out after an in a squad training game last month and he unfortunately is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, and up to a few months.

Galway supporters will be heading in their droves to Thurles on Sunday hoping to see a repeat display as that which was delivered in last year’s epic Leinster final. It is fair to say that without Henry Shefflin’s magnificent leadership, ball winning ability and experience in last year’s drawn All-Ireland final, Galway would have won.

The Ballyhale maestro is unavailable at the moment and their supreme manager Brian Cody is also not involved this weekend, so it will be interesting to see can Galway pass the acid black and amber test.

Questions we

need answered

Other questions that need answers are: who is Galway’s best option at centre-back?

If David Collins is one of the best wing backs in the country, is it fair to expect him to do the job for the team at number six? Has he the aerial prowess for such a role? And if not Collins, then who? Joseph Cooney? Daithí Burke? Cyril Donnellan? Tony Óg Regan?

Another debate is where is the best position to leave Joe Canning?

Many aficionados believe he should be left in the full-forward position to do most damage, as when he is at wing-forward he often hits the sliotar in to where he should be himself.

Are we robbing Peter to pay Paul by playing him at wing-forward?

Finally, should Conor Cooney be given a chance at number 11 and left there for a while following his exploits with St Thomas?

We should know a lot more about the above by 5.30pm next Sunday.

Hopefully the answers will be provided on the back of a winning performance. The Trips to Tipp for Féile are almost 20 years ago now, but the Liam McCarthy winning trips to Croke Park are 25 years and some definite answers to the above questions could change that nasty stat.


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