Hurlers’ promotion bid comes down to the wire

The Galway senior hurlers face Limerick in their round five league game on Sunday in Pearse Stadium (2.30pm ).

A win is required if Micheal Donoghue's squad is to be in division 1A next season.

Both teams have won four games on the trot, but a draw this weekend would suffice for Limerick's promotion hopes, given their scoring difference (+56 ) is far superior to Galway’s (+27 ).

Despite being without their Na Piarsaigh players, who are preparing for the All-Ireland club final, Limerick are still going smoothly. They defeated Antrim last weekend on a facile scoreline of 3-21 to 0-13 and they will be heading for Salthill looking to get a fifth win and a place in the top tier for next year.

In their win over Antrim, they had big scores from former U21 star Aaron Gillane, who hit 1-5. Graeme Mulcahy notched 1-2, with Diarmaid Byrnes and David Reidy hitting 0-4 each.

Jason Flynn hit 1-09

Galway were in action last weekend too and they defeated Pat Gilroy's Dublin by 1-20 to 1-14 with Jason Flynn hitting the headlines with his tally of 1-09 (0-6fs ).

Cathal Mannion also caught the eye with 0-4 from play, while his brother Padraig, Niall Burke and Seán Loftus hit 0-2 each.

Promotion from 1B was always expected to come down to this final round game, and that is exactly what has happened.

The last time the sides met, Galway beat Limerick by 1-21 to 1-11 in last year’s Allianz Hurling League semi-final and went on to win the league and collected two other cups later in the season.

There is a huge crowd expected in the stadium on Sunday and GAA people will be looking forward to running their eyes over Shane Cooney and Sean Loftus who have seen a lot of action over the past few games.

Jack Grealish also lined out at corner back last weekend and with three times All-Star fullback Daithí Burke club tied until after St Patrick's Day with Corofin, it gives opportunities for other defenders to get some game time and impress the management team.

Irrespective of the result this weekend, both counties will be in the quarter-finals, and it will be interesting to see how revved up Galway are to get back to division one for next year.

It has the makings of a really entertaining game, and hopefully the weather conditions will be kind to the players.


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