Tony Keady believes Galway hurlers will be hard to beat this year

‘Realistically, Kilkenny look like they have slipped a small bit’

Galway’s Davy Glennon

Galway’s Davy Glennon

 


The Dublin hurlers arrive into Sunday’s Leinster final having played over four consecutive weekends, while opponents Galway have been dormant for three weeks since their narrow victory over Laois.

Granted, this was due to draws with Wexford and Kilkenny but it shines a light on the GAA’s championship structures and should establish which form of preparation is of more benefit.

“If Dublin win on Sunday there will be no chat about fatigue,” said Tony Keady, Galway’s former hurler of the year. “They’ll have plenty of time to mind injuries and recover after the weekend. They are hurling well now and won’t need too much work this week anyway. But Kilkenny didn’t really look up for it last week and Dublin were able to solo around them. One thing for sure if they try that on Sunday there’ll be a Galway man up their backside after them.

“Realistically, Kilkenny look like they have slipped a small bit. Just look at Tommy Walsh, he is not much more than 30, but his clock has gone around twice he has so many miles up. Maybe if they get Henry Shefflin and Michael Fennelly back it will lift them a bit. And if they manage to beat Tipp on Saturday it will really drive them on again.”

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has stated there is no chance of Shefflin or Fennelly being fit. But Keady, who won All-Ireland titles with Galway in 1987 and 1988, feels the Tribesmen can go one step further than last year’s Leinster title and All-Ireland final appearance.

“I think Galway will be very hard to beat this year. A lot of people are saying that they are not hurling well, but they were doing the same this time last year and see how close they came.

“We were all up in Croke Park for the 25th anniversary of the 1987 win last September and we all saw how well they did. They were eight or nine points up at one stage and they could have won it. There is no reason why they can’t go that far again.”