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Treaty can be a handy scalp for Tribe

NHL DIVISION1, LIMERICK v GALWAY (Killmallock, Tomorrow, 2.30)

WHAT a neat piece of chicanery it was by the Limerick county board to move this match from the Gaelic Grounds to Kilmallock.

Portlaoise and Corofin will play their AIB club football semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds, while the few Limerick people with any interest left in seeing the Treaty County 'B' team probably won't bother on the basis of its new, less central venue.

Coincidence?

Probably not.

The facts of this utterly exhausting matter are thus: the main body of players who represented Limerick last year will not play again while Justin McCarthy is manager.

Neither McCarthy nor the Limerick county board will do the honourable thing.

Ergo, Limerick will be relegated this year barring some mid-season white smoke and, even then, it would be pushing it for a group of players to come back in without training and win league matches just when those around them are sharpening up for the championship.

This, unfortunately for McCarthy, is precisely the wrong match at precisely the wrong time.

Galway are the form team in Ireland just now, their performances in the Walsh Cup defying the early season cobwebs and, even without the Portumna crew, John McIntyre's men are flying it at the moment.

McIntyre will field five debutants -- Pat Holland, Donal Barry, Niall Cahalan, David Burke and Aidan Harte -- all of who played against Dublin at the weekend.

In fact, James Skehill is the only player not to start in Parnell Park last Sunday against Dublin to be included in McIntyre's team sheet for tomorrow -- a statement of intent if ever there was one.

Ger Farragher will have to pass a late fitness test but, even without their most in-form player, the Tribesmen will likely wipe Limerick.

ODDS: Limerick 9/1, Draw 16/1, Galway 1/25

VERDICT: Galway


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