Sport Hurling

Saturday 25 March 2017

Galway gear up for 'stiffer challenge' as Carr leads rampage

Galway 8-26 Antrim 0-12

John Harrington

Neither team will have benefited much from this ritual slaughter. Galway will go into an All-Ireland semi-final against Clare untested, and the Antrim boys will surely suffer some sort of post-traumatic stress.

The match was as one-sided as the scoreline suggests. You couldn't fault Antrim's spirit or application, but Galway were simply on another level as far as every skill of the game was concerned.

They were already ahead by 15 points by half-time, when they could afford the luxury of replacing their two most impressive attackers in the first 30 minutes -- full-forward Shane Maloney and centre-forward Jonathan Glynn.

If the Antrim defenders were relieved not to see that duo reappear, their joy was short-lived. Substitute Jack Carr would score 3-2 from play in the second half as Galway free-wheeled to victory.

Galway manager Mattie Murphy was acutely aware that such a comfortable win will have done little to prepare his side for the challenge of facing Munster champions Clare in the semi-final.

"We can't take an awful lot from it," he admitted. "We just know that we have a nice outfit but we can't judge them on that performance.

"We brought on five fellas and they all acquitted themselves very well, but then we expected them to do so because we have good strength in depth.

"There's great competition for places there, but we know we have a lot to do between now and the All-Ireland semi-final. There's a lot of good things going on in Clare and our lads will have to up it a gear and be ready for a stiffer challenge."

Scorers - Galway: J Carr 3-2, S Maloney 1-4 (0-1f, 0-1 '65), K Cullinane 0-6, B Lane, J Flynn 1-2 each, A Tuohy 0-5, J Glynn 1-1, S Caulfield 1-0, D Higgins, P Flaherty, M Mullins, B Keane 0-1 each. Antrim: D McCloskey 0-6 (5f), C Johnson 0-3, J McCreevey, M Bradley, N McKenna all 0-1 each.

Galway -- S Mannion; P Mannion, P Killen, C Diviney; J Hansbury, S Sweeney, D Burke; D Higgins, P Flaherty; J Flynn, J Glynn, A Tuohy; B Lane, S Maloney, K Cullinane. Subs: O Teagle for D Burke (28), M Mullins for J Glynn (h-t), J Carr for S Maloney (h-t), S Caulfield for P Flaherty (47), B Keane for B Lane (49)

Antrim -- P Nugent; S Rooney, F Donnelly, L Peden; A McKinley, C Johnson, N McFadden; S McAfee, M Bradley; S McAfee, J McGreevey, C Jennings; D McKernan, D McCloskey, C Johnson. Subs: E Haggerty for L Peden (17), D Delargy for D McKernan (27), P Blaney for A McKinley (40), M Dudley for C Jennings (44), N McKenna for S McAfee (44).

Ref -- S Whelan (Wexford).

Irish Independent

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