Date Published: 20-Apr-2011
AT WALSH PARK
GALWAY’S hurlers were left in little doubt about the magnitude of the work they have to do in terms of championship preparation after they produced another disjointed display in this pivotal National Hurling League tie at Walsh Park last Sunday.
Following their whitewash against Tipperary a fortnight previously – and uninspiring win over Dublin before that – you would have expected a kick of sorts when the Tribesmen faced a depleted Waterford in this final group game. Yet, for all that, the visitors looked far from a team that brought the dressing-room doors with them heading out onto the field for this one . . . despite the fact they only lost this contest by a point.
This was, for all intents and purposes, a League semi-final, so if the reigning champions secured a victory, then they would have advanced to a May decider against Kilkenny . . . a game that would certainly have stood to them in good stead in terms of their hurling and championship training.
For whatever reason, though, it didn’t happen for Galway on Sunday. Once again, they were outplayed and outmuscled – as they had been by Tipperary and Dublin in previous outings – but what made it more pronounced was that it happened this time against a Waterford team shorn of a plethora of its stars, including John Mullane, Stephen Molumphy and Eoin Kelly.
True, it’s just the League while Galway – who are far from where they want to be themselves in terms of injuries etc. – had made no less than nine changes to the starting line-up that faced Tipp. However, a worrying trend has developed in this National League campaign, which will concern all associated with Galway hurling, and that is the lack of stability.
For if anyone – from manager John McIntyre to the most cursory of supporters – sat down this morning to select their championship fifteen, on the evidence of this league campaign, they would be hard pressed to do so. Yes, a number of players have showed up well at various stages, but the consistency needed from game to game has not just been there and, consequently, this was one of the reasons why Galway suffered three defeats in seven league games.
In any event, their 2010 National League title win aside, Galway were in a far stronger position and, indeed, had a more settled facade heading into last year’s championship and while a litany of injuries has, of course, impacted greatly on Galway’s preparations this time round, it cannot wholly be attributed to the disappointing nature of many of the Westerners’ performances.
The bug bear has, and continues to be, Galway’s inability to win primary possession under the high ball. A trait that has, undeniably, been a blight on their game over the past decade, this fundamental flaw was once again prevalent in Waterford on Sunday.
Accordingly, one would have hoped the Tribesmen may have gained some degree of proficiency in the skill – given where Kilkenny and Tipperary have taken the game in the past six years or so – in recent times. However, this has not happened as Galway keep getting hammered – continually – under the high ball.
The management cannot be entirely blamed for this deficiency either as this has become the culture of Galway club hurling – take a look at the local club championships and you would find it hard to count 10 hurlers, senor or intermediate, who are defined by this skill.
That said, who says hurling has to be all about the high ball? Why do Kilkenny and Tipperary have to dictate the way the game is played? Both Portumna and Clarinbridge – and Galway minor and U21 teams – have won All-Ireland titles in recent years playing a particular brand of hurling – a brand not reliant on the high ball – and that is the type of hurling Galway should be playing. Let the Kilkennys and Tipperarys mould their gold to their choosing, but let Galway cut diamonds.
The Tribesmen, under the current management, have become obsessed with winning the physical battles – breaking the tackle, taking the ball from the ruck and so on – but Galway club and underage hurling at present has become more than that.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.