Galway v Clare
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Croke Park 5pm Saturday 28th July 2018
Neighbours Galway and Clare face off in Championship action for the fourth time in the last ten years. Clare’s only victory came on their way to an All-Ireland in 2013, when the defeated Galway in an All-Ireland quarter-final by 1-23 v 2-14. The other three meeting have gone the way of the current holders of the Liam McCarthy cup. They defeated the Banner by 2-17 v 0-17 when the sides last met in the 2016 quarter final. They were also victorious in their 2011 and 2009 meeting with Clare.
Clare impressed in their most recent outing against Wexford, winning by 0-27 to 1-17. Tony Kelly shone for the Banner while scoring five points from play. Shane O’Donnell looked sharp and picked off four points, while John Conlon got three from play. But none of those players are likely to be given the same amount of space by a tigerish Galway defence.
Galway’s last outing was their Leinster final victory against Kilkenny in one of the games of the season so far. After a lightening start, they were reeled back in midway by trough the second half to within a point, before finishing strong and easing away in the last ten minutes to a seven point win on a scoreline of 1-28 to 3-15.
Johnny Glynn was sprung in at full forward in a late change for Conor Cooney and his ariel domination, in the first half in particular, helped Galway get on top in an area of the pitch where they had struggled in the previous weeks’ drawn encounter. He picked off 1-1 himself and set up both Conor Whelan and Cathal Mannion for a couple of points each.
It will be interesting to see if Michael O’Donoghue goes with Glynn from the start again on Saturday.
Galway have won four out of their last five All-Ireland semi-finals, the only reversal being the one point loss to Tipperary in the 2016 semi-final, while Clare have won two and lost three of their last five championship semi finals.
Clare (All-Ireland SHC v Galway): Donal Tuohy; Patrick O’Connor, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Seadna Morey, Conor Cleary, Jamie Shanahan; Clolm Galvin, Cathal Malone; Peter Duggan, Tony Kelly, David Reidy; Podge Collins, John Conlon, Shane O’Donnell
Subs: Andrew Fahy, Rory Hayes, Cian Dillon, David Fitzgerald, Michael O’Malley, Jason McCarthy, Niall Deasy, Ian Galvin, Michael O’Neill, Conor McGrath, Aron Shanagher
Galway Team news will be published here as soon as it becomes available.
Galway are short priced favourites, and it would take a brave man to back Clare given the proven pedigree of this Galway outfit. The draw is priced from 10/1. Clare are available with a four point head start on the handicap market, but I would fancy Galway by a similar margin to their 7 point win over Kilkenny last time out.