David Connors of the Tuam Herald talks about the appetite in the Galway hurlers, their win over Tipperary, and why there has to be doubts about Limerick.
BY SHANE STAPLETON
Limerick are back in an All-Ireland semi-final this Sunday, looking to put right their final-four defeat to Kilkenny at Croke Park here in July 2019.
It has been a long wait for John Kiely and Co, but they are strong favourites to beat Galway and make it back to a final against either Waterford or Kilkenny.
Tuam Herald writer David Connors is aware of the power of this Limerick outfit, but believes his native Galway are not totally out of the fight.
The Tribe won the All-Ireland title in 2017 and got back to the final a year later, almost catching up with the Treaty late on “despite hurling for only ten minutes”.
The then defending champions cut a 68th-minute eight-point deficit to just one in injury time, and Joe Canning even had an unlikely long-distance free to draw it level.
And while the men in green held on for a famous win, it was by the skin of their teeth, as it had been in their extra-time win over Cork at the semi-final stage before that.
O’Connor touches on the nervy nature of both games, with Limerick subsequently losing their next championship clash against Kilkenny in 2019.
“Their record over the past few years is phenomenal but I just have this small nagging doubt about them,” says Connors of Limerick.
“Galway hurled for maybe ten minutes in the 2018 final and nearly clawed it back. Kilkenny put it up to them last year.
“When the chips are down, it’s about delivering for Limerick, and they’ll be focusing on that but there are question marks about Limerick.
“When the game is there, it needs to be put away. It’s grand winning a provincial title, but it’s all about winning All-Ireland finals for Limerick.”
PATHS TO THE QUARTER-FINALS
Galway 1-27 Wexford 0-17 (Leinster semi-final)
Kilkenny 2-20 Galway 0-24 (Leinster final)
Galway 3-23 Tipperary 2-24 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
Limerick 0-36 Clare 1-23 (Munster quarter-final)
Limerick 3-23 Tipperary 2-17 (Munster semi-final)
Limerick 0-25 Waterford 0-21 (Munster final)
Fixtures (Saturday, unless stated)
All-Ireland SHC Semi-finals
Kilkenny vs Waterford, Croke Park, 18.00
Limerick vs Galway, Croke Park Sunday 16.00
Joe McDonagh Cup round 5
Meath vs Antrim, Páirc Tailteann, 13.00
Westmeath vs Carlow, TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, 13.00
Lory Meagher Cup final
Fermanagh vs Louth, Croke Park, 15.30
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