Anthony Cunningham expects to face an experimental Kilkenny in Sunday’s Walsh Cup semi-final at Freshford (2pm), but he was delighted with how his own new look outfit battled to the win against Offaly.
The Tribesmen trailed by seven points midway through the second-half, but Niall Healy’s penalty and a late flurry of scores saw Galway to the win at O’Connor Park.
But Cunningham could not but be impressed with his side’s endeavour and hunger for the battle as they fought hard against Brian Whelehan’s side to set up a huge test against the Cats on Sunday.
“Kilkenny will be a bit like ourselves at this stage of the season: shadow-boxing,” Cunningham said.
“It didn’t look too good for us with 20 minutes to go but we were in hard luck for a couple of goals and we can’t complain about the spirit they showed”.
Jonathan Glynn won the 46th minute penalty for Healy to get the Tribesmen back in the contest, but it still took points from debutants Padraig Landers and Cathal Mannion, and Niall Burke to take the win.
The first-half was far from convincing though as Offaly dominated and led by a 0-7 to 0-5 at the break – an advantage that didn’t display their superiority.
A goal shortly after the restart from Kevin Connolly put a fairer look on the scoreboard, but Healy’s penalty and a couple of late points from Niall Burke and Healy gave Cunningham the win he craved.
Scorers: Galway: N Healy 1-3 (1-0 pen, 1f), J Glynn 0-4 (3f), D Glennon 0-2, C Mannion, P Landers, J Flynn, K Hynes, N Burke 0-1 each.
Offaly: J Bergin 0-7 (6fs), K Connolly 1-1, S Cleary 0-3, K Brady, B Carroll 0-1 each.
Galway: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, J Coen; K Hynes, Darragh Burke, S Og Linnane; P Brehony, A Harte; C Cooney, J Glynn, C Mannion; R Cummins, N Healy, D Glennon. Subs: K Hynes for Brehony 12) N Burke for Hynes 41, P Landers for Cummins 43, J Flynn for Cooney 58.