Will The Real Galway Ever Stand Up?
The odd thing regarding high-profile matches involving Galway is they could win or lose by 10 points and nobody would be one bit surprised.
The Tribesmen have the talent to roast the most illustrious of opponents and yet could flounder alarmingly just as easily on a given day.
Year on year you hear people say ‘It’s time for Galway to put up or shut up’.
Yet, season after season, they do neither.
To paraphrase Tom Hanks’ character Forrest Gump: ‘Galway are like a box of chocolates, you really never know what you’re gonna’ get’, much to the frustration of their loyal supporters.
The westerners are 5-4 to overcome Dublin in the Leinster SHC quarter-final in regulation time while Ger Cunningham’s Boys in Blue can be supported at 5-6 with the draw 9-1.
And Dublin’s marginal favouritism is justified for much more than Galway’s inconsistencies.
In fact, as an each-way alternative to Tipp at 11-4 to win the All-Ireland SHC title, Cunningham’s Metropolitans, at 14-1, are not without a chance of lifting the Liam McCarthy Cup.
It seems Dublin, on the verge of joining the code’s elite, will take the necessary steps forward this summer to shake off the unwanted tag of ‘nearly men’ attributed to them.
Cunningham has selected Shane Durkin, Chris Crummey and Conal Keaney in the half-back line and Johnny McCaffrey alongside Simon Lambert at midfield and that quintet is rock-solid in such a sector.
Galway, though, are a physical side too, especially in the middle-third which will be marshalled for Anthony Cunningham by Joseph Cooney and Aidan Harte.
The positioning of Joe Canning is a hot topic again with Portumna’s sharpshooter named at full-forward.
And Galway’s chances of victory will improve if he stays at the edge of the square.
Dublin recorded a 12-point success in the 2013 provincial final against Galway but much has changed since then, particularly in the former’s camp.
Nevertheless, trusting Ger Cunningham’s brigade to progress to the semi-final of the Leinster title race is advised with BoyleSports generously laying 11-10 that Dublin win by two points or more at Croke Park.
Snap up the 11-10 and also have a minor punt on Dublin to win by four to six points in the winning margin market at 5-1.
There is enough juice in the 5-1 to justify a small-stakes bet with wing-forward Danny Sutcliffe potentially producing a match-winning performance for the favourites.
Dublin should have at least reached the National Hurling League Division 1 final and will have learned much from their loss to Cork in the semi-final of the secondary competition.
Furthermore, and looking down the line, Dublin are a sweet price at 5-1 to win the silverware on offer in Leinster.
If they, as they are expected to do, topple Galway they also should have too much firepower for either Offaly or Laois in the last four and so bettors will have the value ahead of a final showdown with, most likely, Kilkenny.
*Prices correct at time of publication.