Home advantage can help Galway prevail at Salthill

Derry’s woes on the road in the qualifiers look likely to continue

Derry manager Brian McIver joins the pre-match team huddle before the win over Wexford. They will likely have to score something like 1-14 to win in Galway. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

Derry manager Brian McIver joins the pre-match team huddle before the win over Wexford. They will likely have to score something like 1-14 to win in Galway. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

 

There’s a knack to hitting the road without becoming roadkill. Neither of these sides has what you’d call a formidable record in the qualifiers and while Galway slayed a dragon of sorts in Armagh a fortnight ago, Derry have no real experience of overcoming the task that lies in wait for them here.

Brian McIver’s side are cussed and hard to beat but most of his players don’t know what it’s like to win away.

Derry haven’t won a championship game outside Celtic Park or Owenbeg since beating Armagh in an Ulster semi-final in Clones in 2011. Their last away win in the qualifiers was in Westmeath in 2010. Only five of that team now remain.

Salthill, especially in the forecast wind and rain, is not an easy place to be putting that right. Derry will come, line their defence across their 45 and dare Galway to find a way through. It might not be enough. Galway’s shooting has come on and that win in Armagh showed they have a new stickability about them now.

Derry will likely have to score something like 1-14 to beat them. Can’t see it.

DERRY: Thomas Mallon; Oisín Duffy, Chrissy McKaigue, Dermot McBride; Liam McGoldrick, Brendan Rogers; Sean Leo McGoldrick; Niall Holly, Fergal Doherty; Benny Heron, Mark Lynch, Enda Lynn; Daniel Heavron, Eoin Bradley, Cailean O’Boyle.

GALWAY: Brian O’Donoghue, Johnny Duane, Finian Hanley, Cathal Sweeney; Liam Silke, Gary O’Donnell, Gareth Bradshaw; Fiontán Ó Curraoin, Tom Flynn; Gary Sice, Paul Conroy, Michael Lundy; Peadar Óg Ó Gríofa, Damien Comer, Danny Cummins.

Verdict: Galway.

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