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Rebels primed to pounce on Tribes


(Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Tomorrow 2.30,

live TG4)

THE TG4 cameras will be in position tomorrow, doubtless hoping for a reprise of last year's Allianz League final, writes Frank Roche.

The first half of that 2010 decider was a rollicking, thrill-a-minute scorefest; Galway ran out convincing second half winners. Two weeks earlier, with league final qualification already secure, the same counties had served up a mildly diverting dress rehearsal between two shadow teams, Galway again prevailing.

So then, what to expect tomorrow?

Galway look the more obvious form team, given that they've racked up identical 1-24 scores against Wexford and Offaly to sit atop Division One on scoring difference.

This has been achieved despite a gargantuan absentee list that includes Joe Canning, Shane Kavanagh and latest victim Ger Mahon, who could be out for three months after fracturing his ankle against Offaly.

Cork have been a mixed bag to date, only beating Offaly by five points (compared to Galway's 14) and enduring a miserable first half against Kilkenny. Yet their second-half fightback, while ultimately in vain, has lifted spirits and left Denis Walsh believing his evolving team will be "in contention" this year.

Walsh makes seven changes, including the return of keeper Donal óg Cusack for his first start of 2011, while four players who finished the game in Nowlan Park -- Jerry O'Connor, Cian McCarthy, Tom Kenny and Conor O'Sullivan -- are rewarded with starts.

A close call, but the revamped Rebels might just sneak it against the hitherto untested Tribesmen.

ODDS: Cork 5/6, Draw 9/1, Galway 6/5