Wednesday 17 January 2018

Galway will do enough to win but won't show their hand to Cody

Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile
Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Brian Cody will, no doubt, be in Portlaoise tomorrow where, in all probability, he'll see Galway check in for a Leinster final clash with Kilkenny next month.

Galway can be erratic at times but they are operating a few levels above Offaly these days so they should see this one through without any big scare.

Offaly supporters always believe their team has a right good chance against Galway and while that used to be the case, times have changed. Galway were drawn on the easier side of the Leinster draw and while some people claim they would have been better off to face a big test fairly early on, I don't go with that.

The further a team can go without having to tackle the high fences, the better. For Galway, it's all about getting the component parts slotted in as tightly as possible and taking it from there.

There' s still some uncertainty about the defensive alignment but the return of Niall Burke and Conor Cooney to full fitness increases Micheal Donoghue's options in attack, which is important in light of Jonathon Glynn's absence.

Galway took Westmeath for 3-27 two weeks ago, which is what you would expect from the All-Ireland runners-up against Division 2 opposition. However, Galway conceded 0-19, which shows how much tightening is needed in the defence.

Offaly will pose more problems than Westmeath for the defence so it will be interesting to see if there's a visible improvement in front of Colm Callanan. Galway's relegation to 1B dropped them down the ratings somewhat but they didn't over-react - and rightly so - as the margins were very tight.

It was always about the championship for them this year and I expect them to tick the right boxes tomorrow before shaping up for the Kilkenny test.

Irish Independent

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