No need to press panic button after a tough weekend for Galway teams

Galway Sports Stars hurling award winner Padraic Mannion with special guest, Evanne Ní Chuilinn, and Tony Neary, Medtronic, sponsors, in the Galway Bay Hotel. Photo: Iain McDonald.
Galway Sports Stars hurling award winner Padraic Mannion with special guest, Evanne Ní Chuilinn, and Tony Neary, Medtronic, sponsors, in the Galway Bay Hotel. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

IT wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a few Galway hurling and football supporters pressing the panic button after the weekend happenings at Croke Park and in Carlow respectively. It certainly was a difficult 24 hours for both Tribesmen teams, but this is a very fluid time of the year in the GAA world.

Less than three weeks ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Wexford hurlers were going nowhere after their Walsh Cup final loss to a shadow Galway team, but since then they ran All-Ireland champions Limerick close in their opening league game before turning over Cork at Pairc Ui Chaoimh last Sunday on a pitch which simply wasn’t fit for purpose. Discerning bullocks wouldn’t be caught grazing on it!

The swings in the form of Tipperary hurlers have been even wilder so far. They were stuffed by Clare in the final of the Munster League only to turn the tables on the Banner in the first round of Division 1A matches last Saturday week. Liam Sheedy might have thought things were being sorted only for Tipp to be wiped out by Limerick in the final 20 minutes at the Gaelic Grounds at the weekend.

After the opening round of the football league, Monaghan were gaining rave reviews for toppling Dublin in Clones, but seven days later they were suffering a shock away defeat to Roscommon. Early season inconsistency plagues most GAA teams, although Mayo footballers – traditionally slow starters in the league – are proving an exception to the rule as they already have four points on the board thanks to their thumping weekend win over Tyrone.

Naturally, the big story of the weekend was Carlow hurlers earning a shock draw with Galway at Netwatch Cullen Park, especially as they didn’t score a bag of goals or get off to a flying start. Colm Bonnar’s charges were the ones chasing the game all-afternoon and their spirit was rewarded when top scorer Marty Kavanagh nailed a controversially awarded equalising free deep into injury time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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