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The prize for the Galway senior hurlers for their impressive 2-28 to 0-22 win over Cork last Sunday in Semple stadium is an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Tipperary in three weeks time at Croke Park.
Johnny Cash famously sang about walking the line and this Saturday at Semple Stadium (7pm) the Galway senior hurlers will have to do just that if they are to see off Tipperary and keep their championship season alive.
The GAA has recently confirmed the membership of a new committee to examine the state of hurling and to draft proposals to ensure the continued health of the game.
The Galway hurlers will try to bounce back from their two-point defeat to Clare last Sunday in Ennis when they welcome Tipperary to Salthill this Bank Holiday Monday (2pm).
Galway announced their arrival once again as a formidable force on the inter-county football scene with a significant victory over, albeit a very lethargic looking, Roscommon side. I have met Alan Mulholland on quite a few occasions throughout the winter months through my involvement with NUI Galway and I always came away with the impression that this young manager knows what he is about.
There is a memorable moment towards the end of Brian Cody’s autobiography – the self-titled ‘Cody’ – in which he describes the run-up to the 2009 All-Ireland final.
Neither of last Sunday's hurling quarter finals was anything to write home about in terms of quality, however the victors, Dublin and Waterford, will not be too worried about that. Both teams have suffered heavy defeats in their provincial finals but they will be quickly forgotten now. The two winning managers Anthony Daly and David Fitzgerald will be heroes once again in their adopted counties. I take my hat off to both of them for different reasons.
The big three Kilkenny, Cork, and Tipperary have dominated the hurling scene for quite some time now, you have to go back to 1998 when the last non-superpower of hurling, Offaly, won the Liam McCarthy. Thirteen teams have ambitions to derail the current champions Tipperary but realistically only a handful have the talent to do so.
It has been a long hard winter in Kilkenny and I'm not just talking about the weather. The disappointment of not achieving the illusive five-in-a-row has been well and truly trashed out since last September.
It will be a case of straight back up on the horse as Kilkenny renew their hurling rivalry with Tipperary early in the new year with a February league clash.