Galway don’t set the pulses racing in win over Carlow

Galway 2-24

Carlow 2-14

THE championship debut of the Galway senior hurlers would hardly have put the fear of God into their main rivals with this workmanlike victory over minnows Carlow at a sparsely attended Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Having left some of their heavy artillery on the sideline, Galway must be worried that the likes of Conor Whelan, Joseph Cooney, Aaron Niland, David Burke and Darren Morrissey had to be sprung from standby as a gallant Carlow outfit got too close for comfort in the third quarter.

A shock outcome wasn’t really on the cards, but you could sense the unease in the maroon ranks when Carlow had trimmed a nine-point deficit to just four after 52 minutes and they would have been closer only for the impressive Martin Kavanagh seeing a thunderous effort rattling off the crossbar.

At least, Galway responded to the mini-crisis in positive fashion as they rattled off 1-7 without reply – including three Whelan specials – to kill off a brave Carlow challenge.

Overall, it was something of a mixed bag from the hosts and as team manager Henry Shefflin warned afterwards, a similar display won’t cut the mustard when Kilkenny roll into Salthill on Sunday.

Though the team management’s selection was compromised by several players still returning to full fitness, the chosen 15 sent into action against Carlow raised some eyebrows and one anticipates a third of them won’t make the cut for the visit of the Cats.

Virus victim Cianan Fahy was a late withdrawal from the Galway half-back line, with Adrian Tuohey filling the vacancy and the Beagh man had a barnstorming ten minutes in the second quarter, including rattling over a terrific long-range point.

Supporters continue to keep a close eye on new coach Eamon O’Shea’s influence on the team’s forward’s play and there was some positive evidence in the first-half when angled deliveries from out the field freed up Cathal Mannion for a hat-trick of points.

Pictured: Galway’s Declan McLoughlin comes under pressure from Carlow’s Dion Wall durimg Sunday’s Leinster senor hurling group clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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