Galway maintain Division 1 status for 2025

Paul Conroy of Galway, left, and Adrian Spillane of Kerry during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match between Kerry and Galway at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Kerry. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Paul Conroy of Galway, left, and Adrian Spillane of Kerry during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match between Kerry and Galway at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Kerry. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

On Sunday, Galway retained their division 1 status for another year. The Tribesmen lost their fourth league game of the campaign, but stayed up due to Roscommon's failure to beat Derry.

With championship football starting for Galway in under two weeks, it won't be losses or injuries that will worry Padraic Joyce the most. The consistently average nature of their performances will be Joyce's main concern. Galway have not played terribly in any game, but the team as a whole have failed to impress in victory as well as defeat.

Of all the influential players that are missing through injury, only Seán Kelly looks to have any chance of being fit for the start of the Connacht championship. Joyce explained on TG4 after the game that his players will need time to get back to match fitness. Joyce said: "When they're back available to train you have to trial them and keep them on the pitch. They’re not going to just land back in and produce 10/10 performances."

Galway started the game well on Sunday, racing into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead inside the first twenty minutes. However, from then to John Daly’s point in the 67th minute they were flat all over the field. Galway struggled with a Kerry side who didn’t seem too bothered and started with the Clifford brothers on the bench.

Galway kicked ball in towards Robert Finnerty early on. He got out in front of his man and won two marks which he duly converted. Cillian Ó Curraoin scored again from long distance in addition to points from Conroy and Sweeney.

Kerry looked to have Galway figured out after 20 minutes however, and from then to the 66th minute they outscored the tribesmen 0-13 to 0-3. Galway managed just three points in 48 minutes of football and there was no sign of much more to come. Late on, Johnny Heaney overturned a poor kick out allowing Finnerty to play the ball to Culhane, scoring a goal on his first outing of the year.

Culhane's goal came from the first kick-out that Galway pressed high on for the entire game. Paul Conroy soon kicked another point, but Kerry were able to see out the game and win by two points on a score-line of 0-15 to 1-10, a closer game than Galway deserved.

Galway have previously played a more intensive style of football under Joyce. The injuries have of course played their part, and both managers alluded to the difficulties of the split season. But like many games this year there was no spark from Joyce's side.

It may be that league and championship football will always have differing importance in the GAA. Yet too many Galway games, along with most football games at club and county level, are becoming boring - lateral football and devoid of any spark that first drew GAA supporters in. Hopefully things improve right across the country for the summer months.

 

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