Galway drop six for make or break encounter
The Banner cannot afford to be wasteful with their scoring chances
Clare’s Cathal McInerney in action against Willie Phelan of Kilkenny during last year’s All-Ireland under-21 championship. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.
Galway manager Anthony Cunningham has made six changes for tomorrow’s game.
Colm Callanan takes over in goal, Jason Grealish is named at wing-back in place of Joseph Cooney, there’s a new midfield partnership with Aidan Harte and Andy Smith taking over from Iarla Tannian and James Regan, while Jonathan Glynn comes in for Davy Glennon at wing-forward with Damian Hayes being recalled at top of the right as Cyril Donnell drops to the bench.
Cunningham went on the record this week to clear up a few things. No, Galway didn’t play very well in the Leinster final, but at least they have the chance to redeem themselves.
What Cunningham wasn’t so willing to put on the record is the fact Galway are staring down the barrel of near ignominy, if they don’t at least raise some fight here.
How easy it will be to raise the fight here is unclear, especially given Galway still have this terrible habit of following one good season with a bad one. Not even Joe Canning has been firing on all six cylinders yet, even if his 1-7 against Dublin effectively kept them in the game. Still, Galway’s over-reliance on him protruded as disconcertingly as ever.
As for Clare there is nowhere near as much uncertainty, at least not in terms of hunger and willingness to win.
Davy Fitzgerald took the Munster semi-final defeat to Cork reasonably well, knowing his team missed too many golden opportunities. They quickly put things right, racking up 1-32 against a Laois team that tested Galway every step of the way and Clare then followed that with a 3-24 to 1-20 win over Wexford, after extra-time, despite hitting 16 wides.
Galway have, incredibly, lost their last five All-Ireland quarter-finals. Clare have at least won two of their last five, the most recent in 2006.
So, questions over both teams, but a few more over Galway.