Three things we learnt in Markievicz Park

1- Ó Curraoin and Flynn improving significantly

The foundation rock of Galway's victory over Sligo was the display of Fiontán Ó Curraoin and Tom Flynn.

The Micheál Breathnach's man won a tremendous amount of kick-outs and linked the play well.

Last year's u-21 captain can be inspirational the way he takes down the O'Neill's from kick-outs and he seems to have filled out a bit, and that additional power will be needed as the championship progresses.

Tom Flynn, who is also an accomplished hurler with Athenry, really opened up the Sligo defence with some rampaging runs.

His massive stride and pace make him a real handful for defenders when he runs at them, and Danny Cummins should have done better when Flynn set him up with only the goalie to beat in the final quarter.

The two lads seem to really enjoy playing with each other and, having seen success at national level in 2011 and 2013 at u21 level, all GAA supporters in Galway will be hoping they can do so in the senior ranks in the next few years.

Everyone is looking forward to July 13 to see if they can repeat last weekend's dominant performance against superior opposition.

2- Shane Walsh has oceans of talent but he needs to take the right options

There is always a ripple of excitement when the young Kilkerrin man gets onto possession.

His dazzling run through the Sligo defence in the first half for a lovely point brought roars of approval from the Galway supporters.

He has great hands, pace, two accurate feet, and a wonderful dummy that cannot be coached. In fact he has everything in his arsenal to be a really top-class forward.

However, he also needs to concentrate on always trying to do the right thing in possession.

Sometimes he can take too much out of the ball and try for scores when they are not on. He had a kick blocked down the last day when the shot was not on, and the defender was always likely to smother his effort.

Hopefully that extra guile and vision, and top-class decision making during the game will come with experience and coaching.

If he added that to his game, he would be a serious detail for any defender in the country.

His probable duel with Mayo's Colm Boyle, who won an All-Star in 2013, in the Connacht final is one really look forward to.

3- Galway need to be more ruthless when on top

Galway won handily against what turned out to be a toothless enough Sligo outfit.

Winning by 0-16 to 0-11 was a solid result and can be filed under the "job done" category. However, a concern for the management team is that even when Galway were well on top, they never really went for the Sligo jugular.

They did not breach the Sligo defence for a goal and, in the final quarter, they meandered instead of really buckling the home side.

The intensity and speed will be notched up a fair few knots the next day against the 2012 and 2013 All-Ireland finalists.

No doubt Alan Mulholland and his team will be telling the Galway lads they need to make hay when they have their spells of control.


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