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Finn expecting a close encounter

GALWAY manager Noel Finn has some experience as a bookmaker, but even he isn't keen to call the odds on either of today's big Gala All-Ireland senior semi-finals at Nowlan Park.

"There's probably just a puck of a ball between the four of us, whether that is a point or a goal," said Finn, whose side face the might of treble-chasing champions Cork.

Kilkenny take on Wexford in the other game of the double-header.

"Of course, Cork are looking to make their ninth final in a row and are the standard-bearers," Finn added.

"Whatever their form earlier in the year, they just bring an intensity to their game at this stage which sets them apart."

Finn is clearly keen to avoid any complacency because his side and Kilkenny were the only ones to beat the Rebelettes this summer.

"We got a great start against them down in Athenry with an early goal," he said of his side's 1-14 to 0-11 win in early July. "But I'd expect this to be an entirely different tempo."

Finn, who managed Galway's seniors back in 2004, took them over again this year after helping them to three All-Irelands at lower grades.

He led them to last year's intermediate title.

"We needed to be freshened up with some new blood, but we looked carefully at the players we brought up," he stressed.

Cork need no introduction. Apart from losing Briege Corkery to a year's travelling abroad, they have the bulk of their champions' side on board.

GALWAY (SC v Cork) -- S Earner; S Tannian, S Dervan, N Kilkenny; R Glynn, AM Hayes, S Keane; E Kilkelly, O Kilkenny; C Murray, T Maher (capt), B Hanney; T Rutledge, V Curtin, A Connolly.

CORK -- A Murray; J O'Callaghan, C Foley, R Buckley; J Duffy, M O'Connor, A Geary; O Cotter, E O'Sullivan; J White, G O'Connor, J O'Leary; S Burns, R Moloney, J Casey.