GALWAY senior hurlers – following their disheartening defeat to Wexford last day out – will look to get the show back on the road when they host Laois in their Division 1B National league fixture at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (2pm).
While the general perception is that promotion out of Division 1B is beyond them after that loss, the Galway camp can only play what is in front of them now and concentrate on their campaign which could still see them in the mix at the business end of the National League.
Aside from a few players carrying niggles, manager Micheal Donoghue has no major injury worries heading into this one. “We are not too bad and it is a huge benefit to us that everyone is back, including the two Mannions. So, we have a full deck to choose from,” he outlined.
Sharpshooter Joe Canning made his return against Wexford last day out from what potentially could have been a career-ending hamstring injury sustained in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final. Donoghue said it was a big plus to have the Portumna man back in harness.
“Joe has made massive progress and it has been great that he is back out on the pitch but we still have to be very cautious about re-introducing him for a full game. He will be part of the squad again on Sunday, but we are continuously monitoring his injury with the medical staff.”
In any event, Jason Flynn and Conor Cooney have been in great scoring form the last two games, scoring 2-15 (0-11 placed balls) and 0-9 (eight from play) respectively, while there has been no shortage of goalscorers as captain David Burke, Conor Whelan (2), Johnny Coen, Joseph Cooney, Brian Molloy and the returning Canning (penalty) have all found the net.
Defensively, they have work to do although the return of Padraic Mannion and Daithí Burke – included last day out – following their exploits with their respective clubs should be a help in this regard.
That said, you still feel Galway are short one more quality defender at the moment and, while not an issue in their big win over Offaly, it did become an area of concern in the defeat to Wexford. One suspects, this will not be lost on the Galway management going forward.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.