Match Preview - Galway V Dublin

Match Preview – Galway V Dublin, Salthill, 22/2/2009.
Division 1B, Bord Gais Energy National League.
Dublin face into round 3 of the Bord Gais Energy National League full of confidence ahead of a crucial clash with the 2004 Brendan Martin Cup winners. A win for the Jackies would almost guarantee them a quarter-final place and keep the pressure on Cork, the current holders, ahead of their much awaited clash on 1/3/2009. Galway will be desperate for a win having lost their first two outings in the league. Having lost to a late goal against Clare they succumbed to a heavy defeat against the Rebelettes. The Westerners are a side in transition and new manager, Gay O ‘Brien, will be anxious that his side take the points as a third loss would leave them very much in the relegation places.

Gerry McGill’s Dublin play an attractive style of football demanding great fitness of the players. Quite often the ball goes back to the halfback line to kick start an attack. Fast interchange of passes with players overlapping is part and parcel of their play. Denise Masterson and Niamh McEvoy at midfield are the engine room of the team and as can be seen from the first two matches all of the forwards are capable of scoring. Niamh Hurley, Lyndsey Davey and Sinead Ahearne are especially prolific. Sorcha Furlong and Noelle Comyn guard the centre of defence very capably while all of the remaining defenders make a valuable contribution. Cliodhna O’Connor in goals offers reassurance to her defenders at all times.The return of Aoibheann Daly and Edel Concannon to the Galway starting fifteen for the match against Cork was a major boost to the team, both players along with Ger Conneely having spent the past two years in Australia. On the day the League and All-Ireland champions proved far too good for this developing side. A player who watched the defeats by Clare and Cork is Anne Marie McDonough, currently out with a knee injury. She hopes to return to the fray against Dublin. Anne Marie says that ‘the league will give the new manager a chance to look at all the players, try out new ones and gel the players together. It is all about getting things together. It is important to find new players and bring them on for the championship. We are under pressure now and don’t want to lose any more games.’ As for Dublin she says that they are ‘really flying. They had a great wins against Monaghan and Kildare. Matches between Galway and Dublin are very competitive and tight. Last year’s league game was a physical game and a very good contest which we won by a few points. Galway has great respect for the Dublin team.’ When pushed on the outcome of this coming week’s game she reckoned Galway ‘maybe by a point.’ Anne Marie who teaches in Queen of Angels P.S., Wedgewood, has three All-Ireland medals to her name so far, u16 in 2003, senior in 2004 and minor in 2005. Her biggest disappointments were losing the national league final in 2005 to Cork and the semi-final to Mayo in 2007.

Dublin’s recent form should give them the edge but they can take nothing for granted against Galway. The Jackies will be happy to get out of Galway with a win no matter how close. They may not be able to afford another lull of twenty minutes without a score. Their confidence is such that they will want to win this one badly.

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