Hurlers take on Cork for a place in the last four 

The Galway hurlers take on Cork this Sunday in Semple Stadium (4pm ) in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

If Galway are successful on Sunday, they will find themselves up against Munster champions Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final on August 16.

However, for now, the only concern for Anthony Cunningham and his management team is that their charges produce a top-class performance to see off Jimmy Barry Murphy's side. Cork produced a solid and confidence-building 0-20 to 0-17 win over Clare in round two of the qualifiers at Semple Stadium, having previously defeated Wexford by 2-22 to 0-20 in Wexford Park in round one.

Cork were two points behind going into the last stages of their game with Clare, but a run of five unanswered points by the Rebels left Clare out of the championship.

Wing forward Patrick Horgan was superb for Cork in that late scoring burst, hitting four points  in the last 10 minutes. Their final score came from substitute Paudie O'Sullivan.

While Cork hit 20 scores in that win, they also registered as many wides, and no doubt JBM has had his forward unit working on their shot selection and accuracy at training over the past fortnight.

Galway will have picked up the pieces from their defeat to Kilkenny in the Leinster final and it will be interesting to see what team is selected later in the week to start the quarter-final.

The extra few weeks recovery should mean team captain David Collins is back from his hamstring injury and will be available for selection in the back line which gives the management team options.

Considering Anthony Cunningham was happy enough with the team's performance against Kilkenny, it is unlikely there will be too many personnel changes for Sunday's clash.

Jason Flynn should be fully recovered too, and it is possible that the Flynn, Canning, Mannion full-forward line that was very impressive against Dublin will be restored.

Cork played a tactical game from a defensive point of view in their victory over Clare and they lined out with Mark Ellis as a highly effective sweeper in front of Brian Murphy and Stephen McDonnell. 

It is likely they will do something similar on Sunday to try to nullify the goal scoring threat of Canning and Mannion in Galway's full-forward line. JBM acknowledged after the Clare game that they had to do something as they were conceding too many goals in the league and in their 3-19 to 1-21 defeat to Waterford in the Munster championship.

The last time the sides met in a big championship game was in the All-Ireland semi-final in 2012. Galway won by 0-22 to 0-17.

Galway's scorers in that win were Joe Canning (0-11 ) and Damien Hayes (0-4 ), while David Burke, Niall Burke and James Regan all hit two points. Midfielder Andy Smith also scored a point.

There has been radical surgery to the spine of the Galway team since that game when James Skehill, Kevin Hynes (full-back ), Tony Óg Regan (centre-back ), Niall Burke (centre-forward ) and Damien Hayes were all key players in that win.

Sunday is a difficult game to call and the bookies see it that way too. They have Cork as slight favourites 5/6, with Galway at 5/4 to reach the last four. The draw is 9/1. The match referee is James Owens.

It will be a long day on Sunday for the Galway hurling supporters who want to support both teams in Thurles, as the Galway minors throw-in against Limerick at noon in their All-Ireland quarter-final.

The winner of that game will face Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final on August 9.


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