Saturday 17 March 2018

Hot and cold Tribesmen will beat Cats if they bring their 'A' game

This is new territory for Micheál Donoghue. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
This is new territory for Micheál Donoghue. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Cyril Farrell

The years change but the assessments of Galway don't. That's because the pattern remains the same: great days, good days, mediocre days, bad days. And there's never a way of knowing what's coming next.

If Galway bring their 'A' game tomorrow, they will win. They have done it before against Kilkenny and even Brian Cody has acknowledged that when Galway hit the sweet spot, they can beat any opposition.

Galway's problem is that they don't do it nearly often enough. And even on days - as in last year's All-Ireland final - when they appear to have locked in for a winning drive, they spin off for reasons nobody can quite fathom.

The players made a call last September, forcing Anthony Cunningham out, so clearly they believed the failure was a management issue. Mighty harsh, but they did it anyway.

The only way to back up that bold conclusion is to win this year's All-Ireland. Unquestionably their revolt has increased the pressure.

This is new territory for Micheál Donoghue, who certainly didn't think at half-time in last year's final that he would be Galway manager the next time they played in Croke Park.

Read more: History, form and logic all point to more Galway woe

He has stuck with much the same panel but has lost Johnny Glynn, which is a setback. On the plus side, Niall Burke and Conor Cooney are back to full fitness this year.

Donoghue's main concern is how the defence and midfield will shape up. Galway conceded 1-25 and 1-22 to Kilkenny in Croke Park last year and 3-16 to Tipperary. It's too much.

They still managed to beat Tipp but the reality is that those type of concessions bring more defeats than victories.

And tomorrow? If Galway play to their peak they win; if not, they lose. And no, that's not a cop-out but rather a reality based on what we've seen.

Irish Independent

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