Thursday 27 June 2019

Galway unlikely to have so many under-performers again and attack can make difference

Galway's Conor Cooney
Galway's Conor Cooney
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Two distinct views, which are impossible to reconcile, have emerged around tomorrow's replay. One holds that Galway misfired last Sunday and will be much better this time, while the other offers Kilkenny's excellent record in replays as a pointer to who will join Cork as provincial winners in the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Kilkenny's replay record is based on fact but how reliable is the past in predicting the future?

As for the contention that Galway will definitely be better is no more than a hunch. Several of them underperformed by last year's standards, but there's no guarantee they will be any better this week. Still, it's unlikely.

There's room for improvement in Kilkenny too, especially in attack where the starting six scored only six points between them from play, compared to Galway's 0-13.

Given the solidity of the Kilkenny defence, 13 points from play was a reasonable return by the Galway attack, yet Conor Cooney, Joe Canning and Joseph Cooney were quite some way off their usual high standards.

The same went for David Burke and Johnny Coen at midfield.

Neither side scored a goal, although both had chances which they failed to convert.

With the Semple Stadium surface playing quicker than Croke Park, surely the goal drought (neither Galway nor Kilkenny have scored a goal in their last two games) will end.

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Kilkenny had more reason to be pleased with last Sunday's result, having come back from a three-point deficit late on. Also, they were so much better than when Galway beat them by eight points in May. Still, on the basis that Galway get more out of the attack, they should have the edge.

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