A win for footballers would put them in league final

Following their impressive victory over Kerry last weekend in Tralee, the Galway footballers face Malachy O’Rourke’s Monaghan this Sunday in Pearse Stadium.

In the first an attractive double bill, the footballers have an early throw-in (12.30pm ), while Galway hurlers take on an unbeaten Limerick at 2.30pm.

Monaghan will be a tough nut to crack, as both Kerry and Tyrone have discovered in the past few weeks. Last Saturday night the Farney men defeated Tyrone by 0-15 to 0-14 in an exciting and physical game at Castleblayney.

The game was in the balance when Monaghan introduced their top forward Conor McManus and Owen Duffy, and both men made big contributions that saw their side get a third win out of four games, having lost narrowly to Mayo in the first round, 0-13 to 0-12.

Monaghan are a very experienced division one team and have plied their trade in the top flight for the past five years.

Goalkeeper Rory Beggan is a talented footballer, who kicked three points from frees last weekend. The Wylie brothers are teak tough defenders, as is Vinnie Corey. Darren Hughes is a quality midfielder, and up front they will look to Jack McCarron, Fintan Kelly and UCD’s Conor McCarthy to lead the way if McManus does not start.

Galway on a great run

Meanwhile the Galway panel and their management team must be delighted with the eight points they have garnered from their four wins thus far in 2018, with the 1-14 to 0-14 success away to Kerry last Sunday especially pleasing.

The question now is will they push on and try to set up a possible league final clash with Dublin in early April?

Were they to beat Monaghan on Sunday that is where they will find themselves, which few if any would have predicted when they took the field against Tyrone on January 28 in Tuam Stadium.

Credit where it is due, the Galway footballers are on a terrific run of league results going back to last season.

They have not lost a single Allianz Football League game since going down by a point to Meath in round four of last year’s division two campaign.

Since then they have won eight consecutive league games – against Derry, Down and Kildare (twice ) in division two, and Tyrone, Donegal, Mayo and Kerry in the past two month since they were promoted to division one.

While they beat Kerry last weekend, the video analysts will still have pointed out three or four other goal-scoring chances they did not convert.

Cathal Sweeney, Shane Walsh, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh and Sean Armstrong would all normally fancy their chances of hitting the net with opportunities they had at stages last weekend.

However the collective work rate and hard running from the team has to be admired with Eamon Brannigan particularly impressive with his stunning goal.

All the players who are being given a chance are really putting their shoulder to the wheel for the cause, and players such as Johnny Duane (St James ) and Annaghdown’s Ciaran Duggan made good impressions when they crossed the whitewash on Sunday.

With such an attractive double header this Sunday, there should be a good crowd in Pearse Stadium supporting the footballers in their bid for five out of five wins.


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