Footballers head to Louth needing another win

Galway footballers head to the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda this weekend knowing their solid performance and victory over Down last Sunday will count for little if they cannot back it up with another two points in Louth.

The Wee county are currently bottom of the division two table with one point from four games, and it is vital Galway beat them on Sunday if they are to keep one foot firmly planted on top of the relegation trap door.

Despite last weekend's meritorious 1-12 to 0-8 win over Down, Galway manager Alan Mulholland and his panel will know they are still high risk candidates for the drop to division three for 2014.

A win this Sunday would be a huge boost in avoiding that scenario, but a loss would see them rooted to the bottom of the division and needing a minor miracle to avoid the drop. Thus last weekend was a "must-win", and so is this one.

On a positive note, last Sunday's performance (and win ) in Tuam did stop the rot of three consecutive defeats and most supporters in the stand in Tuam were pleased with the work-rate and commitment of the Galway players.

There were still too many unforced errors and poor concession of possession. However there were many commendable factors - not least the displays of Eddie Hoare, who scored three fine points from play, Joss Moore, who is improving nicely, Gary Sice, Fiontán Ó Curraoin, Gareth Bradshaw and Thomas Healy, who all had fine games.

There was a better balance to the team than we had seen heretofore and the defence also looked more solid.

Finian Hanley was back in the full-back line and he and Joss Moore had some good moments, with Moore coming out splendidly with some vital wins.

The repositioning of Gary O' Donnell to centre-back with Bradshaw and the lively Paul Varley on either side of him worked well.

Fiontán Ó Curraoin brought off a few fine catches around the middle and he was well supported by team captain Paul Conroy and Thomas Flynn, who kicked one very good point.

Up front, Eddie Hoare (St Michael’s ) had a fine first 40 minutes. The former St Mary's star really took the game to the Down defence and his "up and at 'em" approach really rallied the troops and made him a firm favourite with the crowd.

Indeed his second point where he just took off and barrelled his way through the middle of the Down defence was terrific to see. He has been blighted with back injuries over the past number of years and it was great to see him back moving well and enjoying his football.

The switch of Seán Armstrong to corner forward, with James Kavanagh moving out to wing forward, also worked well in the second half as both players improved their contributions as a result.

Armstrong looks more dangerous the closer he is to goal. He has good pace and two accurate feet and, if Galway are going to continue with the strategy of a two man full-forward line, he could be an option for one of the inside players.

Danny Cummins also looked lively when he was introduced and he took his goal chance well. Adrian Varley will hopefully also be back from injury and that will give management another option if required.

Team manager Alan Mulholland knows better than anyone the critical need to back up his team's first two points with two more in three days.

"Last weekend's win opened up a little door for us, but we have to drive on from it and put four points on the table. Louth desperately need the points too, so it won't be easy up there."

Easy or not, it is do or die stuff.

Win and they can approach the Armagh game (March 30 at Pearse Stadium ) with confidence.

Lose, and they will be looking up at seven teams above them knowing that they would need a minor miracle to survive.

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