Friday 22 September 2017

Galway have earned right to home comforts -- Kavanagh

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Shane Kavanagh believes the time is right to allow Galway to play some of their future Leinster hurling championship matches on home ground.

The size of last Saturday's night 13,011 crowd in Pearse Stadium has prompted the Galway full-back to question the county's current arrangement, where they must play their championship games at Leinster venues.

This was a stipulation of their entry in 2009, initially on a three-year term, which was then extended by two years last year.

That ensures that Galway and Antrim will participate in Leinster until 2013 with a review to take place at Congress 2012.

Leinster CEO Michael Delaney has said that once it was established that Galway and Antrim were staying in the province, home venues would become an entitlement.

"Once it's established that Galway and Antrim are staying in Leinster beyond 2013, I can see it happening," said Delaney.

"There is a review at Congress next year. I don't think that either Galway or Antrim would reverse the current status. Galway haven't won Leinster but the Dublin game stood to them on Saturday night."

Kavanagh, restored to full-back on Saturday night, where he is undoubtedly at his best, floated the prospect of home Leinster matches as he hailed the size of the crowd that had travelled to see them redeem themselves against Clare after the Dublin defeat.

Connacht Council had advised Galway that a crowd of less than 6,000 may only turn up at a venue which can be difficult to access at the best of times. For many of the Galway players it was their first big championship game at Pearse Stadium.

"I don't know what the situation is with the Leinster championship next year, maybe we'll be entitled to an odd game down here," suggested Kavanagh.

"It was great -- I have my doubts that the Galway supporters would have gone too far to see us today so it was great to have them back on our side as well."

Kavanagh could detect at training earlier in the week a will to win that translated into something much more tangible on the field.

"The way we've been playing in training is what you saw out there, and that was the most frustrating thing about the Dublin game, we just didn't perform. It was good to get back on track."

Kavanagh admitted there was much at stake on Saturday night for everyone concerned.

"There was a lot on the line. We were saying ourselves during the week, the big difference between this game and the previous two was this was knockout, there was nowhere to hide."

Galway's phase three qualifier with Cork has been fixed for the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Saturday with a 4.0 throw-in. The Limerick-Offaly football qualifier throws in at 2.0.

Irish Independent

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