Galway in good place for away tie with Westmeath


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway in good place for away tie with Westmeath Galway in good place for away tie with Westmeath


WITH one foot already in the knockout stages of the All-Ireland Senior Football championship, Galway aim to push on this Sunday (Cusack Park, Mullingar, 3pm) when they travel to Westmeath for their second game of the round-robin series.

With momentum behind Padraic Joyce’s charges following the Connacht Final success against Mayo and their win at home to Derry at Pearse Stadium two weeks ago, excitement is building again about the Tribesmen’s prospects in the race for the Sam Maguire Cup.

Players have returned, there is competition for places and leaders have stepped up during their last two outings following the scare received against Sligo in the provincial semi-final.

But concern and injuries never stray too far from this Galway set-up. Damien Comer, victim of a dangerous stamp from Gareth McKinless, is a doubt for this game. And top scorer Robert Finnerty (1-21 in four games) could also miss the Lakesiders clash with a knee injury.

It will be a test of Galway’s metal again just when it appeared all their big names were back. Cillian McDaid made his first appearance against Derry since fracturing his tibia playing for Monivea/Abbey in last year’s club championship.

Matthew Tierney made his first start since the league contributing a point against Derry.  ohn Maher and Shane Walsh are also back after being briefly kept on the bench against Mayo at the beginning of the month.

But even though this is their group stage ‘away’ fixture, on paper this should be Galway’s easiest assignment against a Division 3 team battling for survival against three perceived All-Ireland contenders.

However, history shows that no Westmeath team should be discounted and they stayed with Galway for over 50 minutes in the corresponding fixture last year before the victors, thanks to 0-4 each from Peter Cooke and Walsh, left Mullingar with a 0-20 to 0-12 victory.

Pictured: Galway’s Matthew Tierney on the ball against Westmeath’s David Lynch in last year’s All-Ireland Senior Football Championship group clash in Mullingar. The teams meet again at the same venue on Sunday.



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