The Tipperary native dished out heavy criticism in the wake of last Sunday’s championship exit to Clare, claiming the Tribesmen have been in freefall since letting Kilkenny “of the hook” last September.
“It’s like as though last year never happened,” wrote McIntyre in the Connacht Tribune. “The vigour, vitality and confidence which was then running through the veins of the Galway hurlers has been conspicuous by its absence in 2013. The ominous signs had been there all year, but we tried to ignore the stockpile of disjointed displays in the belief that a big performance was in them when it would be most needed. Last Sunday was that occasion, but the men in maroon again flunked the pressure test.
“Unfortunately, when expectations increase about the hurling pioneers from the West, they tend to disintegrate and don’t measure up to even their own standards. Since letting Kilkenny somewhat off the hook in early September last year, they have now lost six of their last 10 competitive matches. It’s a freefall, pure and simple.”
McIntyre, who suffered three consecutive quarter-final defeats during his term at the helm of Galway hurling, slammed the management for allowing Kevin Hynes remain on Conor McGrath for much of the encounter — the Cratloe forward tallying 1-2.
“We had hoped that the Leinster final would have sharpened Galway’s hurling and helped the team mentors to sort out their best 15. There was also closed door training sessions and some straight talking in the interim, but six changes in personnel and some positional alterations as well just served to underline how unsettled Galway really were ahead of their ‘do or die’ clash with Clare. And by the 59th minute of Sunday’s quarter-final, a fifth of the team had been replaced, with three of them already gone for the start of the second half. It all highlighted how chaotic things have become and by how much Galway were again under-performing. The team management were engaged in desperate fire fighting — and a few of the team’s difficulties were of the sideline’s own making — but there were too many holes in the maroon bucket.
“It has been a dreadful year of under achievement, plagued by inconsistency, an unsettled formation and loss of individual form. Galway were all over the place and fortunate not to have been beaten by more.”