Right, it’s midweek with the team announcements supposedly set to be made at some stage tomorrow, so maybe it’s as good a time as any to test the temperature here on the site about Sunday’s big match.
Before all our League games this year, I prefaced the poll with a longish narrative on our upcoming opponents but I think you’ll agree that no such introduction is necessary in relation to our clash with the neighbours on Sunday. If, though, you want the recent back story on the Tribesmen then what I wrote before our February clash is here and then add to that the match report from that feisty Salthill meeting – here. That brings our story pretty much up to date.
Galway are, of course, coming into this fixture on a bit of a high. They head to Castlebar seeking to down our colours for the third time a row in Connacht and the last time they managed that particular feat was way back in 1984.
We’d argue, of course, that this period of mini-dominance they’re enjoying over us is all very odd. While we can’t dispute that they’ve got the better of us the last two times we met in the championship our subsequent paths in both campaigns have seen us do way better.
Not enough, it’s true, to land the big one but while we made it all the way to Nirvana’s door in both 2016 and 2017 their challenge wilted completely the minute they arrived at Croke Park. To that extent, only one of us has competed seriously at national level over the past two summers.
None of that, of course, will help us on Sunday. Galway caught us on the hop in early summer last year and the year before and it’s still only late spring now so thoughts about how well we’re able to play in high summer at HQ will be of little relevance come Sunday.
Galway’s record, to date, in 2018 is perhaps more pertinent when considering our upcoming meeting. Unbeaten in the League until the final – when they could and, perhaps, should have taken a wounded Dublin – their return to Division One deserves to be seen as a complete success.
By contrast, we diced with demotion right until the final seconds of the spring campaign. We played badly enough to be relegated and wouldn’t, in truth, have had too many complaints had we come away from Ballybofey without the result we needed to stay up.
But stay up we did and so that allowed us to segue from League to championship without feeling any significant blowback for our early season inconsistencies. With the experienced lads returning to the fray and injuries (hopefully) clearing up – though Lee Keegan’s absence on Sunday will be keenly felt – confidence on our side of the fence is justifiably rising.
The bookies, though, are keeping this one on a short leash, with Paddy Power now quoting us as the 8/11 favourites, with Galway on offer at 6/4. Our odds have drifted slightly in recent days – we were at 4/6 the last time I checked.
One historical stat before I finish up with the poll: by my count, Galway now lead us by one in the championship head-to-head between us. Our five-in-a-row winning streak over them saw us sneak one ahead back in 2015 but, thanks to their wins in 2016 and 2017, they’ve pulled in front again. They’ve now got 41 wins banked, we’ve got 40 and there have been six draws.
That’s as good a reason as any for us to want to beat them once again on Sunday. But will we? Time to see what you all think on that particular question.
Will we beat Galway?
- Yes (72%, 745 Votes)
- No (28%, 291 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,036