Saturday 20 July 2019

Martin Breheny: 'Calling on Galway hurling star could be the masterstroke to reignite footballers season'

Daithi Burke in action for the Galway hurlers (left) and playing club football with Corofin (right).
Daithi Burke in action for the Galway hurlers (left) and playing club football with Corofin (right).
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

With Galway hurlers eliminated from the All-Ireland championship earlier in the year than at any time since 1965, will Kevin Walsh invite Dáithí Burke to join the football panel?

Burke, a hurling All-Star for the last three years, was man of the match when Corofin won the All-Ireland club football title in March and would, no doubt, have been on the county football panel for several years if he weren't also such a talented hurler.

With the era of the dual player over at top inter-county level, Burke hasn't been available to Galway footballers, but he is now free of hurling duties for this season. He plays at midfield for Corofin, an area where Galway are not particularly well-endowed and is also adept at No 6, where he won an All-Ireland U-21 football title in 2013.

Galway's Round 4 qualifier, which may well define their season, isn't until the weekend of July 6/7, which would give him time to acclimatise.

It could be a masterstroke by Walsh if he persuaded Burke to join the footballers at a time when they need a lift after Sunday's setback.

No neighbourly help for Banner

If Limerick’s survival in the All-Ireland race depended on beating Tipperary last Sunday, would Cian Lynch, Graeme Mulcahy and Gearóid Hegarty have been on the bench at the start? Of course not.

Any wonder that Clare feel peeved at being eliminated from the championship by the result of a tie which, effectively, wasn’t played fully on its merits.

Clare’s win over Cork would have eliminated the Rebels if Limerick beat or drew with Tipperary. Instead, Clare were knocked out on scoring difference after winning the same number of games as Cork and Limerick. John Kiely can legitimately argue that his only concern is Limerick and that he is entitled to field whatever team he feels best suits his plans.

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No arguments there, but it’s still galling for Clare that their bid for survival was influenced by a game between two teams who were already guaranteed an All-Ireland place. It’s one of the flaws in the system.

That, plus the fact that a team can lose three games in the provinces and still stay in the All-Ireland race.

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