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.
It doesn’t always happen but, invariably, the wheel will turn full circle. At the end of the Dr Harty Cup final yesterday, I spotted my clubmate and former St Flannan’s team-mate, Pat Healy, recording footage of the trophy presentation on his phone. Thirty-three years on from when we won our Harty medals together, Pat’s son Darragh got to taste that feeling.
There’s an undeniable feelgood factor about Galway football since Padráic Joyce took charge, but with tougher tasks on the horizon, there were enough holes in this display to ensure their supporters don’t lose the run of themselves.
This was a canter for Galway as Shane O’Neill picked up a convincing victory in his first National League game as manager, although playing against Westmeath’s 14 men for all of the second half softened his side’s route to victory at Pearse Stadium.
Three Sundays ago, at the midpoint of a Connacht SFC final nobody was loving too much, you could have forgiven Galway manager Kevin Walsh a micro-breath of presumptuous relief: his side leading by five, at home, the expectation was they would consolidate their advantage — albeit in monsoon conditions — and reclaim the provincial title.
Stadium clocks should stop after 35 minutes, according to Connacht Council secretary John Prenty, who believes the premature pitch invasion near the end of Sunday’s Connacht SFC final may have been prevented if supporters were not aware of how much injury-time was remaining.
When I arrived in Pearse Stadium for work with RTÉ yesterday, I’d only had a cup of coffee in my system. I had to be on-site by 10.30am but I was hungry by the time the Tipp-Limerick match started at 2pm.