GALWAY footballers will get the chance to put their Division 2 promotion drive back on course at Tuam Stadium on Sunday (2pm) when they entertain a Derry team with just one win under their belts so far.
With just three games left in the group for each team, Galway enjoy the very real consolation of being in charge of their own destiny, lying in second place behind table-toppers, Kildare.
It has been a very unpredictable league division so far, with a number of teams delivering unexpected victories, such as Clare’s defeat of Cork; and even more significantly from a Galway point of view, Derry’s victory over Kildare last month.
Galway will have left Navan’s Pairc Tailteann on Sunday week last, extremely disappointed not to have secured at least a draw from their clash with Meath.
Having overturned a 0-8 to 0-4 interval deficit to lead by 0-13 to 0-10 deep into the last quarter, Galway would have been expected to ‘drive on’, but instead it was Meath who delivered the big finish thanks primarily to a late Donal Lenihan goal.
Maybe though, these things balance out, as Galway had rode their luck in the first game of the series against Cork in Pearse Stadium to escape with a 0-14 (Galway) to 1-11 draw.
In their four matches, so far, Kevin Walsh’s charges have put together some very encouraging passages of football, but consistency over the 70 minutes still tends to remain an elusive goal.
Galway, though, will need to be wary of the ‘strange results’ phenomenon that has struck on almost every Sunday of the current league campaign.
While Derry shipped heavy defeats to Meath (3-15 to 0-9) and Down (1-15 to 1-7) – as well as slipping up to a home draw against Clare in their first match – they remain the only team in the group to have beaten leaders Kildare (1-18 to 1-17, in Celtic Park).
Derry manager Damian Barton has had to contend with the loss of up to nine seasoned players before the start of this league campaign including the McGoldricks, Danny Heavron, Ciaran McFaul and Emmett Bradley.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.