Former Galway double All-Ireland winning captain Conor Hayes hopes Adrian Tuohy will be cleared to play in next month’s final.
Tuohy could be in trouble after television replays caught him catching the faceguard of Patrick Bonner Maher in the first half of Galway’s one-point victory over Tipperary in Croke Park.
Recently Waterford’s Tadhg de Búrca was banned after he interfered with the helmet of Wexford’s Harry Kehoe in the All-Ireland quarter-final, but Hayes doesn’t feel that the Beagh defender should suffer the same fate.
“It would be terrible to lose someone like Adrian Tuohy,” said Hayes.
“Once the referee and linesmen didn’t note it on the day you would be hoping that the GAA would leave it at that.
“Tadhg de Búrca’s incident was different because he got penalised on the day but the Tuohy incident is clearly different,” said Hayes who noted that the Galway defender was not facing or looking at Maher when the incident happened.
Hayes, the last man to captain the Tribesmen to All-Ireland glory in 1988, said that the Galway defence has been their bedrock this season, with Tuohy a central figure in their stability.
“The Galway defence has been great all year, they have knitted in well together and Tuohy has played a big part in that.
“You would hope he doesn’t miss out on the All-Ireland final now, it would be such a blow to him.”
Hayes believes this current Galway crop are a better side than the one which last contested an All-Ireland final in 2015.
“The All-Ireland champions are gone out of it and Kilkenny are gone too, so you are left with three teams that are on an even keel,” added the Kiltormer clubman.
“But Galway would be the better of those teams and they are in a much better place than they were in 2015 — they are a much more mature team now. There is a settled team there and they would cope better against the likes of Cork because they come out and play open hurling like Tipperary. Waterford are a much more tactical outfit but still those teams are looking at Galway now. Galway can focus on themselves. They are already in the final.”
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