As expected injury has ruled former hurler of the year Joe Canning out of Galway’s do-or-die NHL clash with Tipperary tomorrow as Shane O’Neill places his faith in 14 of the starters that claimed victory over Cork last time out.
St Thomas have won all three county finals they have played in — having only made it to their first decider in 2012 — and they will go into a repeat of last year’s Galway SHC showdown against Liam Mellows as favourites in two weeks’time to retain the title for the first time.
Tracey Leonard fired goals in each half as Galway claimed their third TG4 Connacht Ladies SFC title in a row, but they needed to fend off a strong Mayo comeback to claim the win in the first Connacht final staged in Munster.
The early exchanges suggested that the Kilkenny side were going to enjoy a successful afternoon as they got out to a flier through Jack Morrissey and Ciarán Cooney, but St. Raphael’s quickly settled back into the tie and draw level by the fifth minute.
There’ll be much soul-searching and head scratching once they’ve been put out of their misery, but right now, Ireland will lift their heads one last time in a bid to take something meaningful out of this Women’s Rugby World Cup.