Donnellan doubt for Galway's big test against CorkAugust 2, 2012 - 7:00am
UNCERTAINTY still surrounds the availability of Galway forward Cyril Donnellan, who has been struggling with a serious arm injury, for the Tribesmen’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final clash against Cork at Croke Park on Sunday, August 12.
The Padraig Pearses man chipped a bone in his lower arm in a training match between the Galway senior and intermediates a fortnight ago and, since then, he has been undergoing an intensive programme of recovery to be ready for Galway’s first All-Ireland semi-final clash in seven years.
No doubt, Donnellan has been one of Galway’s standout contributors this year, tallying 1-1 and 0-3 against Westmeath and Offaly in the Leinster quarter-final and semi-final respectively, before the wing-forward shot an impressive 0-5 against reigning All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in the Leinster final.
It should come as little surprise then that the Galway management are giving Donnellan every chance to be fit for the All-Ireland semi-final and, indeed, manager Anthony Cunningham is hopeful that his sharpshooter will be able to line out against the Rebels on Sunday week.
“We expect him to be fit, to be honest,” says a bullish Cunningham. “We won’t know more though until we get nearer the match. So, we are hoping he will be right for that game. He has another week and a half to go, so, we’ll see.”
Thankfully, Donnellan is the Tribesmen’s only major injury concern at present, with the Galway boss noting that “most guys are raring to go”.
Certainly, Galway must be chomping at the bit to take the field again after their emphatic 2-21 to 2-11 win over Kilkenny in the provincial decider. That victory secured the Westerners, for the first time since 2005, a berth in the semi-final, where they will face Cork.
The Leesiders qualified for the penultimate stage of the championship following a 1-19 to 0-19 win over Waterford in front of a crowd of 38,116 at Semple Stadium on Sunday. Jamie Coughlan netted the all-important goal after a sustained period of Cork pressure in the first half.
While many pundits were not wholly impressed with Jimmy Barry Murphy’s side on the day, Cunningham is mindful of the minefields that lie ahead. “Sure, any Cork team is going to be extremely difficult to beat or, indeed, any team you play in a semi-final is going to be difficult to overcome. I would see it no more than a 50/50 match.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.