Cork’s Croker experience to count

For some reason or another, not everyone is sure Alan Mulholland is certain of his job going into next season.

Considering all the upheaval managerial changes have caused Galway in recent years, another alteration is the last thing the county needs. While the provincial quarter-final performance, never mind the result, against Mayo was bitterly disappointing, three wins on the trot against non-Connacht opposition has regained a lot of ground.

It’s actually been a good year for Galway football with the U21s winning an All-Ireland title and the great rapport Mulholland has with their manager, Alan Flynn, should serve the seniors better in time. This evening, they will be attempting to break down another barrier in the form of Galway’s poor history in Croke Park, not having won there since their 2001 All-Ireland final success.

For the likes of Michael Meehan and the other handful of older campaigners, it must seem like a lifetime since they last played there, going down to Kerry in that rip-roaring quarter-final five years ago.

There should be a pep in their step as a result but then Cork could nominate no better venue than to get their season back on track following the Munster final defeat.

Whether they line out as named on Wednesday evening is anyone’s guess but they won’t be as obviously targeted as Armagh. Stopping Daniel Goulding, as Galway succeeded in doing against Jamie Clarke, won’t stop Cork.

To get one monkey off the back this summer has been an achievement for Galway; to get two would be beyond expectations.

Expect an open, high-scoring game with Cork getting back to basics and their U21 players eager to exact some revenge on those on the Galway side for April’s All-Ireland final defeat. Cork by four or five.

Verdict: Cork


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