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Cavanagh Feels Shane Walsh Learning From David Clifford A Good Sign For Galway

Cavanagh Feels Shane Walsh Learning From David Clifford A Good Sign For Galway
By Gary Connaughton Updated

This afternoon's Connacht final between Galway and Roscommon was always likely to be a very intriguing clash.

It was set to be the third meeting between the sides this season, with the Rossies have defeated their provincial rivals in both league meetings earlier in the year.

In saying that, there was a sense that Galway would up their performance level for a final in Salthill. So proved to be the case, with Padraic Joyce's me the much better side as they wrapped up a 2-19 to 2-16 victory.

In truth, that scoreline flattered Roscommon. They produced a late rally in the game, including a goal with the final kick of the match to make the scoreboard a bit more respectable looking.

Shane Walsh stars for Galway

Galway thoroughly outplayed their opponents, especially in forward areas. Shane Walsh was the pick of the bunch, ending the game with a personal tally of 1-6. His goal was an absolute cracker.

Walsh was deservedly named as man-of-the-match for his efforts.

Speaking to RTÉ after the game, he said Galway has attempted to replicate the approach of some of the other top teams in the country this afternoon.

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Set-ups are fairly similar these days. From our point of view, we just want to move the ball quickly with transition speeds.

You see all the top teams do it - Kerry, Dublin - every team does it when they're trying to break a team down.

I thought our backs were excellent today. They got a lot of stick there for the last while, but to a man they were excellent. There are still things we need to work on, but they were really the driving force for the rest of us to finish it off.

Walsh has certainly been open to learning from other top teams and players, something he hints at in this interview. He recently spoke about how he altered his soloing technique in order to replicate the style of David Clifford, something he feels has helped bring his game on.

Speaking on The Sunday Game, Joanne Cantwell and Sean Cavanagh said that his willingness to change his game is only going to benefit both him and Galway.

Cantwell: When he talks, you regularly references other teams and other players. You heard him there, 'we did it this way, all of the top teams do it this way'. He is one of those players, like David Clifford, that uses his opposite hand when he is soloing the ball.

If an interview with Marie Crowe, he said he noticed that Clifford did that and the advantages he got from that, and that he actually took it from that. He's clearly a student of the game and getting better by the looks of it.

Cavanagh: Quite often the best players do that. They recognise that they're never the finished article, nobody ever is no matter what age they go to.

Shane Walsh has been around the game. I remember chasing him down these wings and he left me for dead, I'm probably as close to him that day as I am now!

He's got everything you want from a player in terms of acceleration, balance, finishing off either foot. The goal he scored today, nine players out of ten kick that over the bar but he's got that composure and presence of mind.

He almost wants that challenge of the defender coming to rush him so he can sidestep him. Quite often guys stand off him and he can hurt you that way as well. Like Clifford, he will kill you whatever way you want killing. Today he did that so many times.

Galway will now move into the All-Ireland quarter-finals, while Roscommon will enter the qualifiers.

Regardless of today's game, both sides will fancy themselves to put a good run together in this year's championship.

SEE ALSO: Spillane & Whelan Slam 'Naive' Kildare After First Half Hammering Against Dublin

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