Galway Value To Overcome Fatigue Factor
Tipperary v Galway
This is a classic study of the inequality of the championship system. Tipp floundered against Limerick and get five weeks to sort matters out for the Qualifiers.
Galway gave us a game with Kilkenny that dwarfed all the highlights of the World Cup for skill, passion and tension, and their lot is a replay defeat a week later followed by this trip to Tipp a week on again.
Galway’s 2014 championship teetered on becoming legendary for all the wrong reasons as they stuttered home against Laois a month ago, but their clashes with Kilkenny have a maroon buzz going again.
Galway come into this on the back of two cracking games with Kilkenny so they should be well up to speed.
Their drawn game was gained ‘legend’ status in the Lazarus genre as they battled back from nine down with ten to go before King Henry and Joe Canning exchanged points to send it to a replay. The superiority Kilkenny enjoyed for much of the first game was evident as they ran out 3-19 to 1-17 victors in the replay.
Tipp, meanwhile, have had the advantage of preparing for this Qualifier and observing the Tribesmen over the last fortnight. The challenge for Anthony Cunningham will be in getting his charges ready for a fresh Tipp who will be keen to eradicate the memory of their 2-18 to 2-16 loss to Limerick. Tipp looked in control for much of that game but couldn’t shake off the resilient Treatysiders. Tipp, amazingly, haven’t won a championship game since their 2012 Munster Final win over Waterford.
Galway beat Tipp at home in the league this season, and ran up a big score against them in a recent challenge game too. Championship is, of course, championship.
Joe Canning is pure class, but as the replay showed, he can have his off days too. He only contributed a point from a sideline ball to the scoresheet, but any player is dangerous coming off a bad display. Canning and Conor Cooney will provide the main headaches for Eamonn O’Shea this week. Does he move Conor O’Mahony back into centre-back getting him to play tight on the full-back line?
If Canning is keen to perform after a below par display, Tipp should have 15+ players in the same boat, and that too makes them dangerous. They will have been hearing the terms ‘flaky’ and ‘soft’ thrown at them after the Limerick game and that sort of affront should guarantee a hurling reaction.
For me this is close to an even money game, and that makes it easy to decide what side of the fence to fall on.
Tipp are at home, looked like potential contenders after their league final battle with Kilkenny and suffered a late defeat to Limerick. They’ve had five weeks to lick their wounds and get ready for this chance at redemption. That’s a real positive, but 8/15 is way too short about a side that have major question marks over their bottle and a manager who has never won a championship game.
Galway have shown that they have the heart for a battle, and while the fatigue factor has to be a major concern, Anthony Cunningham’s men are a stand-out price at 17/10 to land the spoils on Saturday evening. The 9/2 about them half-time/full-time catches the eye too.