Monday 23 September 2019

Tribes' new Tally-man gets count right

Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Sportsfile
Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

What are we to deduce from the first three rounds of the Allianz football League?

Galway, who conceded a total of 3-33 against Roscommon and Kerry in last year's championship, have the best defensive record in Division 1, conceding a combined 0-33 to Tyrone, Donegal and Mayo.

It's the lowest score against in the top two divisions and is beaten further down by only Fermanagh (Division 3) and Antrim (Division 4).

Galway's give-away is 12 points less than Dublin and 21 less than Kerry who, despite winning two of three games, have leaked a total of 6-36. That's an average of 2-12 per game, scarcely the foundation Eamonn Fitzmaurice was hoping to down this year.

On the plus side, Kerry have scored 3-47, which is surpassed only by Dublin (4-50) in the top flight.

Galway head for Tralee on Sunday, seeking to end a 15-year wait for a win over Kerry. In the meantime, they have lost no fewer than nine times, the last five of which have been by an average of eight points.

Next Sunday's game will be a real test for Galway's defence, even if it has looked much more secure this year. How much of that is down to the influence of Paddy Tally, former assistant to Mickey Harte in Tyrone, who has joined Kevin Walsh's backroom team ?

Tally also did well at Sigerson Cup level, and was recently described by former Down attacker Danny Hughes as "the best coach I ever played under".

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

So far, so good defensively for Galway but it's early days so judgement is reserved.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport