GALWAY senior hurlers continue their ‘Wizard of Oz’ like National League Division 1B adventure on Sunday (2pm) when they travel to the unfamiliar ground of Austin Stack Park in Tralee to face hosts Kerry in what is expected to be a routine fixture for the Tribesmen.
Top scorers across all divisions in the National League with 12-67, Galway take on a Kerry outfit which, on the other hand, has the third shoddiest scoring difference with -33 – a deficit even worse than that of Laois! Only the hurlers of Offaly – how far the Leinster county has fallen – and Louth, each with a deficit of -36, sit below them.
Consequently, if Galway don’t come away with the spoils from Austin Stack Park on Sunday, they may not come home at all. If they are in any doubt about that they only have to cast their minds back to the Wexford defeat and the amount of flak they had to endure in the aftermath of that loss.
While credit to Kerry for the huge strides they have made in recent years – it’s a testament to the work of the hurling fraternity in a football-dominant county – the Tribesmen must head to the Kingdom with ice in the mind. There can be no room for complacency, compassion or mercy.
For it will not be the result by which Galway will be judged, but by their application and ruthlessness in seeing the job done. Already, their main rivals in Division 1B, Limerick and Wexford, have seen off Kerry by 22 and 15-point winning margins respectively, albeit both of those were on home soil.
Still, those results are the barometer by which Micheál Donoghue’s charges must be measured and, going on their 26-point drubbing of Laois last Sunday, a similar outcome should be well within their remit.
For one, no other county competing in the National League have found the net as often as the Tribesmen and their return of 12 goals in three games underlines just how potent their forward unit can be when the mood strikes.
To date, Conor Whelan (3), Jason Flynn (2), Joe Canning (two penalties), captain David Burke, Johnny Coen, Joseph Cooney, Brian Molloy and Cathal Mannion have all raised green flags while the likes of Paul Flaherty and Thomas Monaghan, who shot eight points between against Laois, have added another dimension to the Galway attack.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.