Hurlers set to keep faith with same team for Waterford test

THE Galway hurling team is likely to remain unchanged from the one that defeated Dublin when the Tribesmen travel to Walsh Park to take on Waterford in the second round of the National Hurling League on Sunday (2pm).

With no injuries to report, the Galway management will most likely keep faith with the starting XV following Galway’s 0-28 to 1-12 opening day win over Leinster champions Dublin when they announce their team on Friday night.

Davy Glennon had been carrying an ankle injury into that tie but he came through 50 minutes of action, scoring a point in the process. David Collins, Iarla Tannian and captain David Burke, all of whom had been carrying injuries throughout the pre-season fixture programme, also showed no ill effects.

It means Galway manager Anthony Cunningham will have a full hand to select from against a Waterford outfit that was hugely unlucky to lose out on a 2-13 to 0-16 scoreline to Tipperary last Saturday.

The killer blow proved to be a late long range free from Tipperary goalkeeper Darren Gleeson which ended up in Stephen O’Keeffe’s net.

Waterford boss Derek McGrath though gave his charges a real vote of confidence when naming the same team to play against Galway within 48 hours of the Tipperary defeat – despite a number of his players being involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action.

Indeed, from that starting line-up, McGrath has already lost corner forward Maurice Shanahan after he sustained ankle ligament damage during last Saturday night’s Division 1A fixture. He will be out for up to six weeks. Seamus Prendergast (hand) is also a concern.

That said, McGrath will be encouraged by the performances of the likes of Shane Fives, who was excellent at full-back, while Pauric Mahony was their top scorer with 0-10 (0-9 frees). Also on the scoresheet were Phillip Mahony (0-2) and Kevin Moran, Jake Dillon, Shanahan and Brian O’Sullivan (0-1 apiece).

When Galway and Waterford met in the corresponding National League fixture in 2013 at the same venue, Cunningham’s men emerged victorious on a 0-15 to 0-12 scoreline. The win ensured the Westerners avoided being dragged into a relegation battle.

Full preview in this week’s Connacht Tribune