Wednesday 17 January 2018

Burke insists 'quality' Canning can deliver backlash to Banner

Galway’s Joe Canning in action against Clare during the 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final. The two teams meet again at the same stage on Sunday. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportfile
Galway’s Joe Canning in action against Clare during the 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final. The two teams meet again at the same stage on Sunday. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Galway star David Burke believes Joe Canning will be firing on all cylinders for the clash with rivals Clare in Sunday's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final in Semple Stadium.

The Tribesmen are still reeling from Kilkenny's second-half tour de force in the Leinster final that saw the Cats turn a two-point half-time deficit into a seven-point win.

The talismanic Canning failed to score from play that day and Burke is expecting a big response from the Portumna man this weekend.

"Clare play with huge intensity and a big tempo, moving the ball at pace, getting it to the likes of Podge (Collins) and Tony Kelly. They make you work after that but I'm sure they will have a plan for us.

"And I'm sure they will be worried playing Galway because we have some seriously good forwards as well.

"The fact that Joe didn't play that well the last day, I'm sure there will be a kick in him in the quarter-final."

Burke believes that Canning has become a more rounded player in the last couple of seasons with his ability to bring other players into the game which helps spread the scoring responsibility more evenly across the team.

"That's the problem. I'd be a good old friend with him. He got a bit of stick last year but he has actually added something to his game last year that people didn't really see," Burke commented.

"In the years before that everything was expected to be on him whereas last year other players stood up around him and chipped in with a lot of scores.

"That was the ability of him to bring others into the game and taking pressure off himself as well. I suppose he is doing that again this year to a certain extent. Things just didn't go well the last day.

"He hit frees well the last day if you can take one positive out of the game. I'm sure he will know himself, he is a serious quality player and Clare backs know full well when he is on form he is hard to stop.

"His ability to take (out) two or three backs and then maybe another Galway forward can come up trumps for the likes of Cathal Mannion, Conor Whelan or Conor Cooney."

Galway produced a strong performance last year at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage when they beat Cork and Burke hopes Semple Stadium can bring the best out of them once more.

"We had a good game last year there against Cork. Look, it's a mental thing really. It is players listening to all the stuff going on in Galway that people don't like travelling down there and all that.


"But that's outside what happens in the game. If we can just focus on the 70 minutes of hurling ... Thurles is a great pitch and we are really looking forward to get down there. I can't wait to get out there again and play a game."

Elsewhere, Wexford manager Liam Dunne is coping with yet more injury and illness headaches with the news that James Breen is a major doubt for the clash with Waterford on Sunday.

From the side that turned Cork over, Dunne has already lost Podge Doran to injury and he joins long-term absentees Andrew Shore, Shane Tomkins (both cruciate), Shaun Murphy (shoulder) and David Redmond (groin).

And it has emerged Breen is a major doubt as he struggles with a strain of viral meningitis. "James (Breen) had been sick before the Cork game. On the Thursday he complained of been sick but on the Saturday he found himself fit to play," Dunne said.

"He really responded to the cause of Wexford hurling, although no one believed his illness was so serious.

"It was not until last week that he felt unwell once again and attended Waterford University Hospital. Following tests he was diagnosed as having viral meningitis, a lesser form of the strain, but still quite serious.

"James is on treatment at the moment and will not be released from hospital until early this week. His situation will be monitored but it's a case of wait and see. We do not yet know if he is going to miss the Waterford game."

Dunne expects Liam Ryan to be able to play some part in the game after having a pin removed from his thumb.

Irish Independent

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