In-form Galway square up to Limerick again in hurling league semi-finals

Gearing up for Sunday's National Hurling League semi-final are Galway's Pádraic Mannion and David Dempsey of Limerick.
Gearing up for Sunday's National Hurling League semi-final are Galway's Pádraic Mannion and David Dempsey of Limerick.

THERE’S an anti-climactic sense about having to face Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds twice in the space of three weeks, but that won’t impact on Galway’s level of intent in Sunday’s National Hurling League semi-final (2pm).

Seeking a first final appearance since 2010, Galway team manager Micheál Donoghue made no secret about their approach for the clash with Limerick. “We will be definitely going for it. There are only three cups we can lift and it would be great to get to a league final.”

The prospect of even reaching the competition semi-finals looked long odds against when they trailed Waterford by ten points early in the second-half at Pearse Stadium last Sunday week, until Joe Canning inspired a rousing rally to turn that quarter-final on its head.

Canning picked up a bang to his knee, together with a second yellow card, in the same incident in injury time, but he was still able to line out for Portumna in their tempestuous draw with Pearses in the first round of the county championship last Saturday evening.

Naturally, the Galway management would have been keeping their fingers crossed that their squad came through those series of local championship games unscathed and apart from Daithí Burke picking up a knock to his ankle, Donoghue reported a clean of bill of health.

Burke is expected to be available for selection when the Galway team is announced on Friday night, and the indications are that the same personnel which took the field against Waterford will be getting a vote of confidence for the clash with Limerick.

That scenario would see Oranmore-Maree’s Niall Burke being kept in reserve despite his strong impact off the bench, while defender John Hanbury, who was forced to retire with a head wound against Waterford, has made a full recovery.

Full coverage in this week’s Galway City Tribune