Wednesday 25 April 2018

Tribesmen out in front in race for All-Ireland, insists Deane

Former Cork hurler and #hurlthehabit ambassador Joe Deane. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Former Cork hurler and #hurlthehabit ambassador Joe Deane. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Former Cork hero Joe Deane believes Galway are in the box-seat as the race for Liam MacCarthy enters the home straight.

The Tribesmen take on Tipperary in the first of the All-Ireland semi-finals in Croke Park on Sunday with Deane's Rebels set to take on Waterford a fortnight later at HQ.

And Killeagh man Deane, who won three All-Irelands with the Rebels, believes Galway are the complete package.

"Based on performances it's without question Galway (who are favourites), without any question," Deane observed.

"They've shown every day they've gone out that they've dealt with teams efficiently. They're a big team but they can all hurl. They have great variety, they're not overly dependent on any one player.

"Even if Joe Canning isn't firing on all cylinders they have plenty of other fellas there who can deliver and get scores."

And while Galway's forwards have come in for much praise in a season that has already seen them deliver the league and Leinster titles, Deane believes that they have improved defensively too.

However, he warned that the pressure on them to deliver a first All-Ireland title since 1988 will be huge should they beat Tipperary on Sunday and reach an All-Ireland final.

"They also showed in the league final against Tipp that defensively they have the ability to handle the Tipp forward unit. If Galway play to form, Galway win the All-Ireland," he added.

"But at the end of the day Galway haven't won an All-Ireland in nearly 30 years now. There'll be huge pressure, nearly mental pressure that will come on them as opposed to anything else."

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