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  • GAA

Quarter finalists have some way to go to challenge Galway

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018 11:13am
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Quarter finalists have some way to go to challenge Galway

Galway and Kilkenny teams march behind the Artane Band prior to the Leinster Final at Semple Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Quarter finalists have some way to go to challenge Galway

Galway and Kilkenny teams march behind the Artane Band prior to the Leinster Final at Semple Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Questions raised about Galway could hardly have been answered more emphatically. Kilkenny’s late surge in Croke Park to make it a draw the first day might prove to be the making of Galway. They now have a perfect ‘before and after’ scenario to remind them of the difference between their performances when they are a little below-par and when they hurl with full abandon. Much has been made of Brian Cody’s ability to get match-ups right and to learn lessons between drawn games and replays over the years. The difficulty in this situation is that in previous years Kilkenny were usually operating from a position of greater strength. In this case the greater improvement was within Galway’s gift.

Kilkenny’s great trick was to plunder a few goals to mask the true nature of what was happening and rely on their reputation with the commentariat to exaggerate its significance. The gap between the two teams is stark when you examine the footnotes – the devil as ever being in the detail. They have played three times and Galway have hit 70 scores, Kilkenny have hit 49. In the Leinster final replay Galway hit 24 points from play, Kilkenny hit just eight. It is worth stopping to ponder that last statistic a moment. Galway’s starting forwards scored 1-18 from play, Kilkenny's scored 1-4. Galway scored more points in the first-half alone than Kilkenny managed in the full hour. In the second half when Kilkenny "came back" they got 10 scores but Galway got 12. Galway won the last 16 minutes by 0-8 to 0-2 - both Kilkenny scores were frees. Kilkenny scored their last point of the day from play in the 51st minute.

 

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