Saturday 23 February 2019

Galway to advance at their ease

Connacht SFC semi-final Galway v Sligo (Pearse Stadium, tomorrow, 3.30)

START: Eamonn Brannigan. Pic: Sportsfile
START: Eamonn Brannigan. Pic: Sportsfile

Sligo could spare us a good old-fashioned GAA venue row if they win here but it's unlikely.

Roscommon are due home advantage in the Connacht final should Galway qualify, as expected.

There are, however, doubts over the suitability of Hyde Park due to issues around ticket scanning and exits from the venue.

Kevin McStay's strident statement last week that his team would be there at the appointed time came just three days before Roscommon GAA issued their own statement declaring that they would "fully accept the venue of the Connacht final will be decided by the Connacht CCC and this will be done when the winner of the Galway v Sligo game is known."

More of that next week, surely, because given their form so far this year, Galway should make light work of Sligo here.

David Wynne and Sean Kelly come into the defence that formed the base of their three-point win over Mayo earlier this month, replacing Eoghan Kerin and Gary O'Donnell.

Eamonn Brannigan, whose early form in the League was compelling, starts at right half-forward while Ian Burke - one of the stars of Corofin's hugely-impressive All-Ireland club win, also starts.

After three years of steady progress under Kevin Walsh, 2018 has seen an accelerated leap forward to the point where they are being spoken about as All-Ireland contenders.

For all that, the Tribesmen have won just one Connacht title in the past 10 years and Walsh knows the quickest way to the 'Super Eights' is via the provincial route.

ODDS: Galway 1/14, Draw 16/1, Sligo 9/1


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