Collins doubtful for Laois tie

STEPHEN GLENNON

REIGNING Leinster champions Galway have been hit with a mini-injury crisis ahead of their provincial senior hurling semi-final clash against Laois in Portlaoise on Sunday (3:30pm).

Among those on the treatment table have been experienced Liam Mellows defender David Collins (ligament/hand) and young Ardrahan forward Jonathan Glynn (knee) while panellists Barry Daly of Clarinbridge (knee) and Bernard Burke of St. Thomas’ (arm) look set to miss the championship opener.

In addition, a plethora of players – including Portumna sharpshooters Joe Canning and Damien Hayes – were forced to sit out training due to injuries sustained in the last round of club fixtures while others, such as St. Thomas’ David Burke (groin), have struggled to procure the time to adequately deal with their injuries due to club and county commitments.

Cunningham said this has been a difficult time for the set-up and, consequently, the Galway management has appealed – for the second time in the last number of weeks – to club delegates to support a change in the club calendar and reschedule the next round of the SHC to allow their county players time to recuperate fully from their ailments.

The matter is due to be put before delegates at this evening’s (Tuesday) monthly meeting of the Hurling Committee and, should the Galway management’s submission be successful, a recommendation will be subsequently forwarded to the CCC.

When a similar request was brought to the Hurling Committee before the first round of the group stages last month, delegates unanimously rejected the proposal. However, it’s understood that clubs might be more receptive this time round as it may buy time to address their own injury concerns.

In addition, with many club players going abroad for the Summer, facilitating a postponement may see the third instalment of group games not being played until late Autumn – by which time those abroad would be again available to clubs.

In any event, the knock-on effect of postponing these club fixtures could lead to a fixtures pile-up further down the line resulting in the final round of two group games being possibly pushed back until late September – after the inter-county senior, U-21 and minor competitions have concluded.

Cunningham said the management was issuing “a massive plea” to clubs, highlighting that Galway’s preparations for the Leinster championship so far has already been disrupted with the high number of injuries sustained in club fixtures.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.