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Now or never for Galway

WESTMEATH v GALWAY

(Mullingar, Tomorrow 2.0)

NOT just a colour clash, but a contrast in managerial expectations. For Anthony Cunningham, entering year four at the Galway helm, it's hard to escape the suspicion that it's now or never - even if he was reappointed on a two-year term last autumn.

For Michael Ryan, formerly of Waterford, Westmeath represent a leap of faith but also provide a less pressurised environment than the one he faced in his native Deise.

LATE RALLY

Ryan's reign started in predictable enough defeat to Offaly last Sunday, by five points in Mullingar, although he was encouraged by a late rally that saw a nine-point deficit reduced to three at one stage.

"We brought on a few subs and they made a big impression," he enthused. "We've Galway next week and that's another big step for us. These are the days you find out about yourselves as a management team."

Mind you, they'll face a relatively experimental Galway - especially in attack. Cunningham will hope that some wise defensive heads, in the guise of Fergal Moore, Kevin Hynes and David Collins, will lay the foundations for an expected victory.

VERDICT: Galway

Wexford are weakened by Students

WEXFORD v UCD

(Gorey, Tomorrow 2.0)

ON the face of things, it's hard to be sanguine about UCD prospects here. Last Sunday, they were routed by Laois to the tune of 17 points - 2-22 to 1-8.

Yet here's a curious potential curve ball. The UCD match programme team includes six players from Wexford, including Matthew O'Hanlon in an all-Yellowbelly full-back line - and a certain Conor McDonald, Liam Dunne's 2014 talisman, who tallied 1-5 even as the students were being annihilated in Abbeyleix last weekend.

VERDICT: Wexford


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