Three key battles for Sunday’s clash with Kerry

Paul Conroy (Galway ) vs Aidan O' Mahony (Kerry )

Conroy has been in very good form for Galway over the past two games. The team captain has linked play very well up front and did really well at full-forward against Ger Cafferkey in the Connacht final.

His aerial prowess and ability to kick scores off both feet make him a tough detail for any full-back.

Galway will need him to really power through the Kerry rearguard and Galway supporters would love to collect on him at 13/2 to score the first goal.

Aidan O' Mahony has been around the scene a good while and he played in Kerry's All-Ireland success over Mayo back in 2004.

He is tough, however he is not a natural full-back and is a good few inches smaller than the St James man.

If Galway can get some good quality ball into Conroy on the edge of the square, he will do damage.

The fear is that he will be needed out the field too.

Bi-location is impossible and “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, springs to mind.

Donal O' Neill (Galway ) vs James O' Donoghue (Kerry )

O' Neill has been Galway's designated man-marker since he did well last year on Armagh's Jamie Clarke at Pearse Stadium.

However, he had an extra-defender in front of him that day in support and that makes all the difference.

He struggled badly with Mayo's Cillian O' Connor and Galway must ensure that O' Donoghue is not given high quality and regular supply or he will do real damage.

The wing-back in front of O' Neill's corner will also have to try to offer as much support and assistance to the Cortoon man. Being left one-on-one with the Kerry star if he is being found with good passes is not advisable and O' Neill cannot be left in that position.

O' Donoghue is a current All-Star and shot the lights out in this year's Munster final.

He is the hot favourite to be the Sunday Game RTÉ Man of the Match at 4/1 (the next highest priced player is Declan O'Sullivan at 8/1 ) and if Galway and O'Neill can nullify his influence, they would be a long way to creating a major shock.

Thomas Flynn (Galway ) vs Anthony Maher (Kerry )

Flynn has terrific pace in possession and when he powers forward he is well capable of taking a goal, as he proved last weekend with his fine strike against Tipperary. He has done the same at u21 level.

The Athenry man is crucial to Galway's chances this weekend as, when he opens his shoulders and takes off, it lifts the team and causes consternation in the opposition defence.

He faces a tough wily campaigner in Duagh's Anthony Maher who has good hands and is a powerful man.

If Flynn and his co-partner at midfield Fiontán Ó Curraoin really tear into the game and dominate around the middle, the odds of Galway being beaten nose-dive considerably.

Winning primary possession from Tomas Healy's kick-outs is key to Galway's chances and has to be a vital part of their strategy on Sunday.


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