Without drawing too many hard and fast conclusions from a February league fixture, John McIntyre’s Galway would seem to have a way to go still before they develop the necessary steel on the basis of Sunday’s resounding 12-point defeat by Dublin.
Fair enough the Tribesman were without the Portumna players, most notably golden-boy Joe Canning (right) – whose scoreboard duel with Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Henry Shefflin could well determine this weekend’s other All-Ireland club semi-final – but the soft-centre that Ger Loughnane and others before him discovered remains; even if the manager says “nobody’s going to press the panic button.” Yet.
Galway’s perennial underachievement over the past 20 years, when they should have reaped the benefits of the growth of hurling in the county inspired by Cyril Farrell’s double All-Ireland-winning side, has been blamed on their soft passage to the latter stages of the championship. Them entering Leinster was meant to be bad news for everyone in the province except Kilkenny. It may well encourage others to raise their game, which, as far as Dublin are concerned, has been threatening even before Anthony Daly got a hold of them.