damp squib | 

The game between Galway and Derry saw a borefest, I have no doubt that either Kerry or Dublin will win the All-Ireland

The performance coach spoofers and the coaching gurus will tell you the first half was enthralling stuff.
aul Conroy, left, and Damien Comer of Galway celebrate after their side's victory in the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final

aul Conroy, left, and Damien Comer of Galway celebrate after their side's victory in the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final© SPORTSFILE

Pat SpillaneSunday World

THE winners of the Sam Maguire Cup for 2022 will be playing in Croke Park today.

That’s the only conclusion I can come to after suffering through yesterday’s semi-final between Galway and Derry.

It was my second last appearance on The Sunday Game, it was the first time I ever almost fell asleep during 35 minutes of football.

The performance coach spoofers and the coaching gurus will tell you the first half was enthralling stuff.

It was pure rubbish as two of the elite four teams in Ireland managed to score eight points in 35 minutes – and for one of them the Hawkeye system did its best to knock it out.

The GAA really have to sort that out before the two All-Ireland finals.

Galway won the match when they decided to play the second half on their terms. They pushed up on Derry’s kick-outs and Derry had no answer.

So why am I so dismissive of the fact that they might beat Dublin or Kerry?

Simple – two Galway forwards scored yesterday and they converted 10 out of 20 scoring chances. A 50 per cent success rate in attack is Mayo-like, not All-Ireland winning standard.

The Connacht champions have a good defence and a solid midfield, they will need much more from their attack in the final – and I doubt if it is in them.

As for Derry, Rory Gallagher turned them into Donegal 2011-14-like.

With the huge difference that Donegal, back then, had Michael Murphy, Colm McFadden and Patrick McBrearty, who could score when the lightning-fast counter-attack was on. Derry had no forward of that ilk yesterday.

They came with Plan A, which was to defend in numbers and counter-attack, and they had no Plan B, C or D.

Trailing by eight points late in the game, they still had 12 men in their own half of the pitch, utter madness. Anyway, Derry’s Plan A is very hard to sustain in the vast prairies of Croke Park.

Eventually Galway, and Damien Comer on his own at times, ran them down and were deserving winners.


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