Friday 2 December 2016

Cyril Farrell: It's unfair the replay is not in Pearse Stadium

Cyril Farrell

Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30

Galway 'escaped with their lives' thanks to Aidan Harte's late point
Galway 'escaped with their lives' thanks to Aidan Harte's late point

Despite Galway escaping with their lives thanks to Aidan Harte's late point and Dublin feeling like they should already be in the Leinster semi-final, I'm sure both teams will be delighted with the chance to get another game under their belt next weekend.

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While Dublin looked like certain winners in the closing stages, another competitive game against a side like Galway will serve them well as the season progresses - whatever route they take.

After getting out of jail a bit, Galway definitely need another big game to get up to the pace required, and you'd hope to see a far better display from them next Saturday in Tullamore. Whoever wins it, it'll do them the power of good.

For long periods the game lacked a real bite to it. It was more like League hurling than Championship, but I suppose we are still in the first weeks of the summer and teams won't be as sharp as they are come the end of July or August.

Anthony Cunningham will be disappointed with the performance of a few of his key players, lads he would have expected more from. The most disappointing line on the field was the half-back line.

Experienced

Other than Iarla Tannian who grew into the game, both wing-backs David Collins and Gearoid McInerney were well off the pace. An experienced lad like Collins, captain this year, you'd hope for more on the big day.

Behind him Johnny Coen was given a torrid time by Mark Schutte in the first half, but once he was changed away from him, he grew into the game. In fairness to Coen, there was always a lot of space in front of him and any time the ball broke he was exposed. That space will have to be patrolled better in the weeks to come.

Joe Canning is not long back playing hurling after a couple of hand injuries, but even so, he was below par yesterday. He hit a few uncharacteristic wides from play and from frees, but like a lot of lads, he'll be all the better for that game.

Cunningham will be very happy with the performances of the two Mannions, Padraic and Cathal, as well as the return of Cyril Donnellan. With Donnellan you always know what you're going to get. He fights for every ball and always weighs in with a few points. It's a real plus to have him back.

Dublin will feel it is an opportunity missed, and you'd have to feel sorry for David Treacy after he missed that late free. He was very good all day and it was his first wide, but had he scored it Galway were heading for the back door.

Ger Cunningham will be quietly happy, though. Lads like Danny Sutcliffe, Liam Rushe and Simon Lambert got through a world of work. At the back they were caught over-playing the ball a bit, but if they cut that out they'll reduce teams' scoring chances.

When they ran at the Galway defence there seemed to be panic stations the whole time. They got no goals from it, but they came close to breaking through on two or three occasions.

After Joseph Cooney's goal, Galway never kicked on and Dublin hit eight of the next nine points. At that stage Schutte was cleaning up and with the small wind that was behind them in the second half Dublin would have been happy to only trail by a point.

At one stage in the second half Dublin pulled three ahead and it looked like they were going to hold on, but that old weakness raised its head again - they couldn't drive home the win. If they can discover that talent they'll be a very dangerous side.

And on another point, why is the replay on in Tullamore instead of Pearse Stadium? The draw was in Dublin's home ground, the replay should be in Salthill. They won't get it, but as far as I can see there is no one putting pressure on the authorities for it to be played in Galway either.

Tullamore has not been the happiest hunting ground for Galway over the years - Dublin beat them there in 2011 - but O'Connor Park should suit them.

And hopefully the Galway crowd will show up the next day because I never saw less support for a Galway team in Croke Park. It was very sparse to say the least.

That shows the apathy that's around and the lack of belief in the team. This team certainly needs their support, but waiting for the team to win before you get behind them is no good. You're either a supporter or you're not.

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