The Galway minor hurlers, under the guidance of Mattie Murphy, will face Limerick this Sunday at Croke Park (1.30pm ) in the All-Ireland minor semi-final.
This year’s side did enough to defeat Laois in Semple Stadium in the quarter-final, but it was not an overly impressive display, and a much improved performance will be required if they are to defeat Limerick and advance to face Waterford in the All-Ireland final on September 8.
Murphy is an experienced and shrewd campaigner, who has been down this road many times. And when he states that there must be a vastly improved display by many of his key men to advance, that statement must be taken as fact.
He does not sugarcoat things, and has always been known as a straight talker.
“A lot of our bigger names did not produce the performances we expected and required against Laois. Many of our top players will have to produce a much improved display against Limerick this weekend, or we will be in big trouble, and facing an early exit.
“While we did not play to the form we wanted to against Laois, we have tweaked things around a bit over the past few weeks and we have a lot of belief in this panel. We are eternal optimists – and we believe that if a good few of our lads can up their displays and play as we know they can, we won’t be too far away.”
There will be massive Limerick support in the stadium on Sunday to support their seniors against Clare, and the Galway teenagers will be facing a partisan crowd.
It is not something that overly concerns Murphy.
“There is nothing unusual in that. We will be well outnumbered in the stands, but it will still be 15 against 15 on the field of play. We have to produce the goods inside the white lines, and we think we have a team and panel well capable of doing that. It is all on the day, and we have some really talented hurlers in our squad. However, they have to produce the goods, and they need to do so this Sunday.”
The Galway minor team to face Limerick on Sunday was due to be announced last night (Wednesday ). Few, if any, changes to the team selected for the All-Ireland quarter-final against Laois were expected.
The team that started that game and is likely to start on Sunday is; Cathal Tuohy (Tommie Larkins ), Maidhc O Conghaile (Cois Fharraige ), Darragh O’Donoghue (Kilnadeema/Leitrim ), Michael Conneely (Liam Mellows ), Sean Linnane (Turloughmore ), Shane Cooney (St Thomas ), Richard Doyle (Turloughmore ), Eanna Burke ( St Thomas ), Darragh Dolan (Cappataggle, capt ). Conor Whelan (Kinvara ), Ronan O’Meara ( Portumna ), Adrian Morrissey (Liam Mellows ), Brian Molloy (Kilnadeema Leitrim ), Brian Burke (Killimordaly ),Conor Shaughnessy (Turloughmore ).