Preview: Galway know they

Irish Examiner - Sport - - ALL-IRELAND SHC FINAL -

Michael Moyni­han

If it were a real Western it’d take place at high noon to­mor­row, but 3.30 pm is a rea­son­able re­place­ment. Galway and Lim­er­ick tick a lot of boxes: es­tab­lished cham­pi­ons ver­sus raw chal­lengers is the top line in most eval­u­a­tions, and if lazy cliche tells us any­thing it’s that you need to lose an All-ire­land to learn how to win one. Count­ing re­plays some of the Galway play­ers en­ter their fifth de­cider to­mor­row; only Sea­mus Hickey and Nickie Quaid on the Lim­er­ick side have ex­pe­ri­ence of a Septem­ber Sun­day in Croke Park. Does it count for any­thing? Take a look at Galway’s siz­zling start to last year’s All-ire­land fi­nal, when they had four scores on the board in four min­utes. Bear in mind Dave Mo­ri­arty’s words else­where in this paper about the roar that greeted Lim­er­ick in 2007, and how that con­veyed to the men in green that they were in the big show. Noth­ing pre­pares you for eighty thou­sand voices.

Galway are also strong where Lim­er­ick are strong. In their semi-fi­nal Lim­er­ick came from six points down with qual­ity off the bench and phys­i­cal power when Cork flagged. Galway’s moun­tain­ous fif­teen have set the stan­dard for size and strength, how­ever, and have sur­vived two close calls against Clare.

What’s been lost in the gun­smoke sur­round­ing the Galway-clare games is Galway’s abil­ity to carve out the chances to win those game late on - wit­ness Johnny Coen’s in­jury-time op­por­tu­nity in Croke Park.

Ex­pect a mo­ment to­mor­row in the sec­ond half when a spon­ta­neous rum­ble be­gins some­where in the ground not a par­ti­san sound but an ac­knowl­edge­ment that the

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