Galway reached their second All-Ireland final in a row after overcoming a stubborn Clare side in another excellent game. Here we discuss the key talking points as Limerick discovered their All Ireland final opponents.
A Carbon Copy of Last Week
The replay was similar to the first game as Galway started strongly and surged into an early lead before Clare came roaring back. The Tribesmen were 1-9 to 0-3 ahead after 20 minutes but Clare ultimately left themselves too much to do. The wide count for both teams was high, similar to last week while Galway once again lost a big lead. It contributed to another cracking game of hurling in the summer that keeps on giving.
Micheál Donoghue gets his tactics right
Galway were caught cold tactically in the drawn match but Micheál Donoghue and his management team got their tactics right, especially in the opening period. Galway varied their puckout strategy which reaped a rich reward especially when Joseph Cooney collected James Skehill’s short puckout and drove the ball into Johnny Glynn who slotted home Galway’s goal. Conor Whelan played a roving centre-forward role which freed up space down the middle for Canning and David Burke.
Clare miss their chance
The Banner men showed terrific character throughout this Championship but their Achilles heel of poor shot selection was their downfall. They shot 19 wides while Peter Duggan missed a relatively straight forward free to draw the game level. Aron Shanagher missed a double goal chance when he scooped the ball onto the post after James Skehill saved his first shot. Clare will be left to ponder what could have been. It really is a game of inches.
After the epic All-Ireland semi-finals last weekend, some complained that goals were becoming too rare. The three goals scored in this game were top class finishes. Johnny Glynn’s one handed finish was excellent while Peter Duggan’s goal was top class. Shane O’Donnell hit the goal of the year so far as he withstood fierce pressure from Daithi Burke and John Hanbury before dummying a shot and then striking it on the half volley. The Championship has lacked goals but these three were worth the wait.
Galway get extra motivation from the doubts
Joe Canning made some interesting comments immediately after Galway’s victory. Speaking to Sky Sports, the Portumna man remarked that he felt his men were not given enough respect coming into the replay.
“We felt as a group, we didn’t get too much respect. Clare only led last week for only one time in the match, and they didn’t lead at all today. We had five of our key players missing in extra-time last week as well, and they couldn’t finish it off. We thought ourselves that we didn’t get enough respect coming into today.” Galway and Canning used this perceived injustice as motivation.