Hurling losers group
Failing to win the first championship game puts immense pressure of teams in the Galway hurling championship and already many big names have been cast into the losers group following defeat in the opening games of the championship at the weekend.
Among the biggest casualties are former All-Ireland club champions St Thomas’, Turloughmore who had Tony Considine brought in as manager, Clarinbridge, Craughwell, Liam Mellows, Gort, Pearses, Kiltormer and Castlegar. All of these teams are now fighting for survival in this year’s championship and there are some big names that are surely going to find themselves in relegation trouble. For some clubs that have advanced, it was well expected but for others like Athenry, Mullagh, Beagh and Tommie Larkins it was grinding out results to stay out of the relegation zone. The one thing that this hurling format has done is made the earlier rounds of the championship interesting and it is a battle for survival from here on for many teams.
Galway football panel named
So Alan Mulholland and his backroom team have named a panel for the 2014 championship, but I am sure that the door is open for others to be drafted in as needed. The Galway manager has turned to youth with some experience but forced to field without a player with the leadership capabilities of Michael Meehan is a huge blow. With Paul Conroy named as captain for the coming year, there are huge responsibilities laid on his shoulders but he is a player that could carry Galway to the promised land in the near future. Eoin Concannon, Johnny Duane, Finian Hanley, Seán Armstrong, James Kavanagh, Michael Martin, Gary O’Donnell, Joss Moore, Fiontán Ó Curraoin, Thomas Flynn, Gareth Bradshaw are all players who have also leadership qualities. However time will tell.
For Connacht football to advance to be seriously competitive at national level it is important to have all counties in the province playing at the top level in league and championship. Roscommon did themselves and the province justice when they defeated Cavan to win the Division 3 National League title and put themselves playing at a higher division in the coming year. With Galway just about saving themselves the drop into Division 3 and Roscommon now promoted, it gives two Galway counties a challenge to now try and get back into the top division in the coming years.