Hurlers need a big performance on Saturday to stay in the championship

Stakes high for both Galway and Tipp

Reason to celebrate: Galway's Niall Burke, celebrating a goal against Kilkenny, will be looking for another sharp performance if Galway want to progress in this year’s All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Reason to celebrate: Galway's Niall Burke, celebrating a goal against Kilkenny, will be looking for another sharp performance if Galway want to progress in this year’s All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Johnny Cash famously sang about walking the line and this Saturday at Semple Stadium (7pm ) the Galway senior hurlers will have to do just that if they are to see off Tipperary and keep their championship season alive.

The stakes are massive for both counties. Lose and you are out. Your season is over; win in two days’ time, and you might go on a bit of a roll.

Following last weekend’s 3-19 to 1-17 defeat to Kilkenny in the Leinster semi-final, it will be fascinating to see if the Galway hurlers can find the inner resolve necessary to bounce back and take down Eamon O' Shea's men in this opening round of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.

It will be Galway's third weekend in a row in championship action and the importance of the result on Saturday night will not be lost on players or their respective team managements.

A loss would be a very disappointing way to sign off on 2014 season for Galway, and it could also have significant consequences for Anthony Cunningham and his management team.

They will surely come out raring to go on Saturday and no doubt they will face a Tipperary team with the exact same agenda - of staying in the championship and proving they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Galway team manager Anthony Cunningham is hopeful his side's sharpness and recent championship action will give them an edge over the Tipp men.

"We are sharp now and you can't beat sharpness and the competitive nature of matches. We have two great battles under our belt with Kilkenny and this Saturday will be a huge challenge for us. But we will be well up for it and we are going to be there fighting like lions the next day."

Galway will also have to be very efficient in possession and avoid wasting ball. On too many occasions last Saturday in Tullamore they did not pick out their men properly and some of their puck-outs did not hit the target either.

They must be more careful in the tackle too and very disciplined - that TJ Reid hit 0-10 from frees the last day tells its own story.

Tipperary have had a few weeks to target this game since they lost 2-18 to 2-16 to Limerick on June 1 in the Munster championship. Former All-Ireland winning manager in 2010 with the county Liam Sheedy stated at a recent county board meeting that there were inter-county careers in the Premier county at stake in this clash.

The bookies have Tipperary as 1/2 favourites with the Tribesmen available at 15/8 to win, with the draw at 10/1.

The Galway team will be selected later in the week and the game is live on Sky Sports.

Galway v Kilkenny: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, D Collins, P Killeen, Daithi Burke, I Tannian (0-1 ), A Smith (0-1 ), David Burke (0-1 ), J Cooney, J Canning (cpt, 0-1 ), C Cooney (0-12 ), J Flynn (1-1 ), N Burke, J Glynn. Subs used: D Hayes for P Killeen (ht ), J Coen for N Burke (44 ), A Harte for J Cooney (50 ), P Brehony for Smith (56 ), C Mannion for David Burke (56 ).

 

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