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Defensive Galway Proved Today They Are Out To Be The New Donegal

Defensive Galway Proved Today They Are Out To Be The New Donegal
By Maurice Brosnan
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Having been touted by many as favourites for relegation, Galway are now five from five and top of Division One. Kevin Walsh's men overcame Monaghan today 0-17 to 1-10 to go top of the table and set up an incredibly engrossing clash with Dublin next week.

There is no two ways about it, this is an extraordinarily defensive Galway outfit. It is a very simple gameplan that a well organised and extremely conditioned outfit implement effectively.

Galway, in possession, attack with ten players and move the ball wide to Damien Comer (out of shot.)

Comer shoots and the ball drops short.

Immediately, the entire outfit bar Adrain Varley turn and retreat.

Galway flood fourteen players behind the ball, with five forwards across the 45.

Sean Andy Kelly makes a superb tackle shoulder-to-shoulder and the ball breaks loose.

The ball is fed to one of the team's fittest members, Eamon Brannigan. Who carries forward until he is fouled. The result is a score.

There are many elements of this gameplan that need to be successful in order for it to be effective. Galway's improvement in tackling is obvious and the recruitment of former Mickey Harte assistant Paddy Tally looks to have been a shrewd one by Kevin Walsh.


The Tribesmen are also exceptionally fit and time will tell if that is sustainable, it is a gameplan that requires constant running. The plethora of young dynamic and pacey players like Peter Cooke, Brannigan, Sean Kelly, Shane Walsh and Johnny Heaney also allow for Galway to play this way.

There is no new ground being broken here. Jim McGuinness utilised a very similar gameplan under Donegal and famously forced Jim Gavin to re-evaluate and develop a more systematic, conservative Dublin.

Furthermore, Galway's finishing is clinical and they are a team filled with strong runners, as they demonstrated time and time again today.




This is a well drilled and effective Galway side. Yet their challenge only gets tougher, with Dublin up next and Mayo on the horizon for the Championship opener.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Moment Of Madness From Monaghan's Fintan Kelly Gives Galway Advantage 

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