Monday 18 November 2019

Galway crave a clinical streak in deja vu meeting

Connacht FL final, Galway v Roscommon, (Tuam, Tomorrow 1.30)


To plagiarise Yogi Berra, he of baseball legend and the famously garbled one-liners, it's like deja vu all over again in the West.

This will be the fifth consecutive year that Galway and Roscommon have clashed in the FBD Connacht League final.

The current score stands at 2-2, with Roscommon the holders.

Both teams have qualified in spite of ropey semi-final starts: the Rossies trailed Sligo by four at half-time before using the wind to impressive effect and running out five-point winners.

The final score - 2-18 to 1-16 - was by prolific contrast to Galway's 1-9 apiece draw with Mayo.

Given that they trailed at one point in the first half by six, Kevin Walsh must have been relatively pleased with their surge to parity, sealed by Barry McHugh's late goal... and by their subsequent penalty shootout success, preserving their recent stranglehold over Mayo.

Still, both finalists have obvious scope for improvement. Galway were minus their three marquee forwards last weekend - All Star Ian Burke, Damien Comer and Shane Walsh - and they'll be hoping for scoring returns to increase once the league kicks off.

Yet, even harking back to Dublin last August, Walsh noted this week: "The big thing from last year's semi-final was being clinical in front of goal."

Roscommon's problem last year wasn't so much scoring as leaking like a sieve against the big boys. This has to be high on the priority list of Anthony Cunningham as he settles into the hotseat.

Odds: Galway 2/5 Draw 15/2 Ros 5/2

Verdict: Galway

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