Super 8’s – Group 1, Round 2
Kildare v Galway
St.Conleth’s Park, Newbridge
Kildare will be tested to their limits in Newbridge on Sunday afternoon by a buoyant Galway side, who are coming off the back of a big win over a much-fancied Kerry team. It will be the Lillywhites fifth weekend in a row in action. They have played three rounds of qualifiers and last week’s Super 8 encounter over the course of the last four weekends. After their energy-sapping defeat to Monaghan in Croke Park last Sunday this game will be a serious test of their endurance and stamina against a Galway side that have been somewhat of a bogey team for Kildare over the years.
Galway famously defeated Kildare in the 1998 All-Ireland final and defeated them again at the semi-final stage in 2000. Before Sunday’s win over Kerry, the Tribesmen’s only win at Croke Park since 2001 came in the Division Two league final against Kildare. In the most recent encounter between the teams, back in March in a Division 1 League match in Newbridge, Galway won by 0-16 to 0-10.
Kildare will be disappointed to have lost a very winnable game last weekend. They contributed to their own downfall with some poor shot selection and allowing Monaghan defenders to direct their runners into dead ends. Monaghan’s tough marking will most likely be replicated by Galway this Sunday, as they play a similar system which sees them defend in numbers, before breaking into swift attacks. Kildare will need to be more accurate and efficient with their shooting to stand a chance of winning this one. Against Monaghan, they were too reliant on the two Flynn’s, Neil and Daniel, and will be looking to the two Cribbin’s brothers Paul and Keith to contribute scores on Sunday.
Galway, on the other hand, will be delighted with their victory over Kerry, despite not firing on all cylinders. Damien Comer was well marshalled by the Kerry defence and Shane Walsh, despite scoring five points, only kicked one from play against the Kingdom and he’ll be looking to improve on that. One to watch will be Michael Daly, he got 55 mins under his belt against Kerry, after coming back from an injury lay-off and has the potential to be a match-winner.
Kildare are available at 5/2, Galway at 1/2 and the draw is available at 10/1. The Handicap market has Galway at +2, and I think given how Kildare looked tired and out of ideas against Monaghan, Galway will beat this. I predict a Galway win by 4/5 points.