» Leinster Hurling Preview – DUBLIN vs GALWAY

26 May

Leinster Hurling Preview – DUBLIN vs GALWAY

Posted by Darren Kelly in Match Previews / Reports,News | May 2017

DUBLIN vs GALWAY (Sunday, 28th May – 4pm Tullamore)

Galway’s stock is up as they begin their attempt for a first All-Ireland title since 1988. After resounding 3-21 to 0-14 win over Tipperary in the league final and the Premier County’s subsequent Munster championship loss to Cork, the Tribesmen are 10/3 favourites to lift Liam McCarthy.

But ask any of the Galway panel and they’ll insist their season has been focused on one date – May 28th. Even though they didn’t get promotion from Division 1B, Galway came through Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary to win their first national title since 2010.

Dublin looked to have fallen suffering four defeats in Division 1A before Clare sent them down. Ger Cunningham has suffered criticism for a squad upheaval that sees just five survivors from Anthony Daly’s 2014 squad and they haven’t been helped with Cuala’s Mark and Paul Schutte opting out.

Dublin were missing the All-Ireland club champions contingent for most of their league run but Cian O’Callaghan, Oisin Gough, Darragh O’Connell and David Treacy are back and expected to take part. Dotsy O’Callaghan is ruled out through injury.

Eoghan O’Donnell, Shane Barrett and Chris Crummey will be key to Dublin’s defence as they attempt to halt a rampant Galway attack. Ben Quinn could operate the middle third and they’ll look to Donal Burke and Eoghan Conroy in attack.

Interestingly, Dublin beat Cork in the league and are the same odds (7/2) to overcome Galway as the Rebels were against Tipperary. And they have only lost once in eight championship meetings with the Westerners.

That was the 2015 quarter-final replay when a Cathal Mannion hat-trick sent Galway clear before they ran out 5-19 to 1-18 winners. Dublin had 12 wides in the drawn match and it took an Aidan Harte equaliser to rescue it for Galway. But the Tribesmen showed their danger when they hit form.

And that’s the question clouding Galway – can they deliver again? They have the talent but consistency has often been wayward. Padraig Mannion and Harte will be the main defenders; David Burke the leader in midfield; with Joe Canning, Cathal Mannion and Conor Whelan lethal attackers.

Galway are 1/4 favourites, Dublin 7/2 and the draw 14/1. While Galway have focused on this date, so have Dublin and they’ll have nothing to lose. But if the Tribesmen are All-Ireland contenders, they should advance.

Verdict: Galway

Build-Up: GALWAY vs DUBLIN (The Six To Watch!)

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