Sports

Offaly face mammoth task against Tribesmen

Thursday, 15 June 2017

THIS Sunday sees Offaly take on Galway in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship semi final for the second year in succession. Same venue too with Portlaoise playing host to the game as Kevin Ryan leads his charges into a game that very few, if anyone from outside the camp, will give them a chance of winning.
While Offaly hobbled over the line against Westmeath, Galway put Dublin to the sword in the quarter final and all this on the back of slaying Tipp in the league final.
Galway are overwhelming favourites and rightly so. Offaly have been improving all year and that was visable as the league went on as they maintained their Division 1B status before losing to Tipp in the league quarter final.
Offaly's win over Westmeath in the quarter final was morale boosting as there was plenty of late drama before a Shane Dooley goal sealed the deal. The second half performance showed light at the end of the tunnel but there is no comparison to be made on the level of challenge that Westmeath posed and what Galway will bring.
With Wexford already in the Leinster final, The Tribesmen have their sights on Croke Park but will be diligent enough treat the Offaly game with respect.
Offaly will be without the services of Conor Doughan who also missed the Westmeath game with a knee injury while there are big concerns over Tom Carroll and James Mulrooney. Dermot Shortt and Ben Conneely are also on the injured list but manager Kevin Ryan is confident that the St Rynagh's pair will make it.
All in all, while Offaly are never without hope, all the cards looked to be stacked in favour of the Galway men.
See pages 86 and 87 for a full preview including interviews with Kevin Ryan and Sean Ryan.

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