We preview the division two clash, Galway and Cork, this match could go a long way to see who tops the GAA national league division two table.
Cork are the bookies’ favourites (4/6) but form hasn’t been kind to the Rebels. Relegated last year on scoring difference, they suffered defeat to Tipperary in the Munster semi-final before going out to Donegal in the qualifiers.
In contrast, Galway have won Connacht and FBD League titles but suffered their own shock at the hands of the Premier county in the All-Ireland quarter-finals and haven’t beaten Cork since 2001 with the Leesiders picking up six consecutive wins.
The last of those was a 0-16 to 0-13 league win six years ago, but Cork must improve to maintain that run. Injuries have ruled out Eoin Cadogen, Jamie O’Sullivan, Brian and Michael Hurley while Daniel Goulding was the latest of the 2010 All-Ireland winning class to hang up their boots.
Peadar Healy can call on captain Paul Kerrigan, Stephen Cronin, Mark Collins and Peter Kelleher to spearhead their promotion attempt while 2010 Footballer of the Year Aidan Walsh has returned to the side.
Galway have nine championship starters with Declan Kyne, Gary O’Donnell, Gareth Bradshaw and Johnny Heaney in defence; Paul Conroy in midfield; with Tom Flynn, Damien Comer, Eamonn Brannigan and Danny Cummins in attack. Kevin Walsh is without Corofin trio Bernard Power, Liam Silke and Gary Sice but gives league debuts to goalkeeper Rory Lavelle, David Walsh, Luke Burke and Barry McHugh.
Their 2-14 to 0-15 FBD League final victory over Roscommon gives Galway confidence. After six years in the second tier, promotion is a key objective and they might have just enough for a first win over Cork in 16 years.