Hurlers must build on last week's performance in Tullamore 

The Galway hurlers will know better than anyone that they need to up the intensity and passion, and produce a better overall performance than last Sunday if they are to beat Dublin in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, on Saturday (4.45pm ).

It is reasonable to assume Dublin will also improve after what was a fairly tame affair - hence Anthony Cunningham's charges need to be in championship mode after looking rusty at times.  Some of their striking and decision-making in possession also was poor.

Galway will also need to sharpen up in defence and be more disciplined in their tackling.  The fact that Dublin's David Treacy shot 0-8 from frees in the drawn game tells us all we need to know about that issue.

Galway have definitely plenty of scope to improve in aspects of their play and championship defensive debutants  John Hanbury, Paul Mannion, Gearoid McInerney and Greg Lally, who came on for the last 20 minutes, will have learnt  from the experience of playing senior championship in Croke Park.

With a Leinster championship semi-final up for grabs, both management teams and sets of players will be pleased to have another bite of the cherry and a chance to get another 70 minutes of championship hurling under their belts. 

A drawn championship game like last Sunday is worth a few weeks of training and the Galway management team will be hoping their players can capitalise on the self-belief and momentum and are in better shape to get a much-needed victory on Saturday evening.

The Galway team for the replay will be selected later in the week and it will be interesting to see what changes, if any, will be made. 

It was good to see David Burke (St Thomas ) back in the county jersey after his injury, and hopefully Daithí Burke (Turloughmore ) will also be available soon as his power and physical presence would give the management genuine options in the central defensive positions.

Anthony Cunningham was happy enough after last weekend's joust and like every Galway supporter he was delighted to see Aidan Harte drill over the equaliser.

"Always in a draw, if you get the last point you are delighted. We found ourselves two points down from being in a strong position. We left some scores on the pitch, some wides, and some we should have got. However, all in all, we are delighted to be getting a second crack. And this time of year, that's a bonus, because a tough championship match is worth a month's training."

Both teams will be going hammer and tongs in Tullamore to avoid the qualifier route and it has the makings of a top-class championship game.

Galway supporters will be hoping Iarla Tannian is fully recovered from the shoulder to the head that he took off Ryan O'Dwyer, and that Joe Canning's hand injury is significantly improved and that he can really impose himself on proceedings, unlike last weekend when he was a peripheral figure for vast period.

It is very difficult to call most replays, and the bookies see it like that too with very little between the odds on either side. 

Dublin are seen as as slight favourites at evens, with Galway at 11/10.  The draw is on offer at 8/1.

Based on the assumption (perhaps flawed ) that Galway have more scope for improvement and that they know they are in a do-or-die scenario - I take the Tribesmen to grind out a narrow victory and set up a semi-final clash with either Laois or Offaly.

The game on Saturday will be refereed by the vastly experienced Brian Gavin (Offaly ) who was in charge of the 2011 and 2013 All-Ireland finals and also refereed last year's replayed final between Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Extra-time will be played in the event of a draw.


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