Is it too much to ask for another thriller in this 2018 Hurling Championship?
Like everyone else in the country, I am looking forward to this replay but what will both teams need to improve on heading into Sunday?
Clare’s main focus I feel will be getting a better start and not letting Galway dominate like they did in leading 1-06 to 0-01 after 15 minutes. Nerves may have played a part making their first appearance in Croke Park in five years but they won’t want that to happen again down in Thurles.
Clare won 76% of their own puck outs so Galway will need to improve there, particularly on the short ones. Colm Galvin playing sweeper gave Donal Tuohy an extra body to hit between the end line and the '45 and it certainly worked for the majority of the game leading to Clare attacks. So The Tribesmen will have to look at their setups on those restarts.
Colm Galvin stats in normal time against Galway
· 19 possessions
· Scored 1 point
· Set up 4 points
*His clearance in extra time was the one that led to Clare’s goal
The biggest concern I feel for Michael Donoghue was seeing his team fade in and out of the game and it’s not for the first time this year either. Three up with four to go the last day, the Banner County clawed their way back to force extra time. In the drawn Leinster Final, the men from the West led by three points with 68 minutes on the clock but late points from Donnelly, Morrissey and Reid levelled it. This will certainly be playing on their minds but saying that the most important thing is they didn’t go on to lose the game after being in those winning positions.
How will this weekend’s match fair out? I’m pretty much on the fence for this one. The importance of Canning and McInerney is vital for Galway and if fit I believe Galway have more to improve on where they can edge it.
By Daithi Boland