Eoin Kelly: Even half-injured, you’d have to risk starting Joe Canning

The two-time Tipperary All-Ireland winner is also backing the Tribesmen and he believes there should be two semi-final replays happening, not one…


The last two days out with Galway we’ve seen blistering starts, then they allow the other team to get back into the game and end up giving themselves extra work to do.

That’s a worry and a big one for Micheal Donoghue. For Galway to beat Clare on Sunday, they are going to have to get in front and stay in front.

That might help banish the questions marks that could be beginning to creep into the Galway mentality now.

Tactically, Galway were brilliant in the first 10/15 minutes and then Clare moved Colm Galvin in as a sweeper.

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That may have thrown Galway a small bit and usually their management team are prepared for these scenarios to come at them.  So, I reckon they’ll have more homework done on Clare this time around.

We won’t know where we stand until we see the teams run out of the tunnel on Sunday. I’m sure Micheal Donoghue will just name the same side and a bit of mind games will come into this now.

Dummy teams will probably play a part in this also, just to throw the other side off the scent. That adds to the excitement of all this for me.

Clare won’t fear Galway on the back of last Sunday and I reckon it’s only right that they are being talked up. They have to be gaining serious confidence on the back of some of their performances.

Galway still have enough to win it for me though, they’re just a bit more physical. But, this is going right down to the wire, have no doubt about it.

Canning call essential for Galway

If you’ve only got a 70 or 80% fit Joe Canning available to you, you start him anyway – even if just for his free taking alone.

Joe is never bursting with pace, he just uses his cuteness. I believe at this stage in his career he’s knows wherever he drifts to, he’s going to bring a man-marker with him and he’s very unselfish, I like that about him.

If he was half-injured, he’d still create space to allow guys to run into.

Just because he’s Joe Canning I’d start him at less than 100%, if it was anyone else I wouldn’t.

Thankfully for Galway they’ve got a ‘get out clause’ in Jonathan Glynn. He’s brought a different dimension to how The Tribesmen play.

They know if there’s nothing on along the wings, that they can puck a high ball down on top of Glynn and nine out of 10 times he’ll catch it.

It relieves the pressure on half-backs and midfielders also to know that if they get into trouble they can just lorry the ball on top of Glynn, that’s a huge plus to have.

Replay ruckus

I’m delighted this game is on in Semple Stadium. I realise there’s a scramble for tickets and some people who want to see it the game might not get to, but that creates a buzz about the whole thing.

However, we should be looking forward to two semi-final replays this weekend and not one.

It’s very unfair for All-Ireland semi-finals to go to extra time in the first game.

I really hope this will be revisited by the GAA, because to see what the Cork, Limerick, Clare and Galway players gave last week, it’s terrible unfair that they didn’t get another crack at it off the bat.

It’s not a 70-minute game anymore with the new stoppage time rules. They are nearer 80 now. Then to turn around and ask them to play for another 24 or 25 minutes is not right.

If there were two semi-final replays this weekend it would have just blown this year’s Championship into one of the most memorable of all-time.

Clubs right to be angry on allocation issue

The GAA claim that the time to distribute tickets to clubs is the issue here. In the way it’s gone in the modern game, they should nearly be prepared for a replay to occur.

It’s only probably a touch of a button to print these tickets.

With technology the way it is, I’d still love to see clubs getting their allocation.

You can get these tickets in Dublin, Donegal or anywhere else in the country with the way it is, the Galway and Clare supporters should have first dibs, and the majority of tickets should go to them really.

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What do you think?