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Eoin Larkin Column: Galway Limitations Show They Have Long Way To Go To All-Ireland Title

Galway were disappointing on Sunday in their 0-29 to 1-17 win over Wexford. Overall, it was a really poor Leinster final.

Micheál Donoghue has a lot to work on going forward to the All-Ireland semi-final. They were very average. Wexford really let themselves down, while the Tribesmen did just enough – they did what they had to do to win the game.

However, some of their decision making, coming out of defence, and then in the forwards was poor. I thought Jason Flynn had a bad game – he was taken off before half-time. Niall Burke was poor enough right through, he got one or two nice points in the end. Their decision making and the quality of the ball in was poor and their decision making was average as well.

Their big players let them down slightly.

I thought Joe Canning was very quiet. So too was David Burke in the middle of the field. They’re the type of players you’re hoping to really drive it on.

They’ll certainly need big performances out of those two players going forward into the All-Ireland semi-final and if they are to have any ambitions of winning the All-Ireland, those two will have to have serious games in the next two outings.

Wexford were very very poor. To me, they looked like a team that didn’t believe they could win.

I spoke before the game about how if they were going to win, Lee Chin and Conor McDonald would need to have huge games. They didn’t.

Conor McDonald got a nice few points, but really didn’t contribute enough to the Wexford cause to really have any chance of winning the game. To have any chance, those big marquee players would need to perform highly, and that didn’t happen.

The use of the sweeper again – I’ve spoken about it in recent weeks, it offered nothing, really.

Shaun Murphy came out with a lot of ball, but didn’t give the Wexford forwards any chance. Really what you want from a sweeper is pick up the ball and give the Yellowbellies forwards more than a 50/50 ball into them. He needed to be picking out Wexford players, straight into their hand.

He hit a couple of balls over the sideline, a couple of balls were cut out, It just offered nothing.

Is Murphy the right man to play that game, if he’s not able to do that? I really don’t think so.

Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 2/7/2017 Wexford vs Galway Wexford’s James Breen, Shaun Murphy and Simon Donohoe with Galway’s Conor Cooney Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Galway are not the favourites for the All-Ireland in my mind.

I heard a couple of pundits on RTÉ yesterday saying that they’re ready to end their wait. I don’t believe that. I think Cork are the form team.

Wexford were very very average yesterday, and still could have won the game.

Cork are really firing on all cylinders. They look to be improving with every game.

I didn’t see that with Galway yesterday. They didn’t improve on the games they played. They were very good against Tipp in the League final, but that seems a long, long away now. They played against an average Wexford team yesterday but just didn’t perform on the day.

Qualifier draw

I don’t know if you can get a good or bad draw at this stage of the championship. Waterford haven’t beaten Kilkenny in the Championship for a long long time. That’s definitely going to be a monkey on their back. Will they think they can win the game? They got so close last year, they got so close to them on a number of occasions the past few years, but just couldn’t get over the line.

They went back into that sweeper system. That really invited Kilkenny on. Ultimately, we got the draw and won the replay.

They need to really believe, Derek McGrath will have to trust his players now. If they go 15-on-15, they will win the game. I can’t see Kilkenny, from Saturday night’s performance, beating Waterford, but McGrath has to really believe in his players, and his players need to believe in themselves and their own ability.

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