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Questions Raised Over Shane Walsh Decisions During Galway Vs Mayo

Questions Raised Over Shane Walsh Decisions During Galway Vs Mayo
By PJ Browne Updated
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Paul Flynn, Peter Canavan and David Tubridy have questioned why Galway's Shane Walsh chose to kick crucial frees with his left foot rather than his right during Sunday's Allianz Football League Division 1 final defeat to Mayo.

Walsh, whose preferred foot from birth would have been his right, has been two-footed since he was seven-years-old thanks to the encouragement of his primary school principal Peadar Brandon.

"Going down the stretch, there's two points in it," former Dublin footballer Flynn said on RTÉ's Allianz League Sunday.

"[He has a free] right in front of the posts, and he kicks this one off the left again, and pulls it wide. For me, I'm just wondering, if it's championship, does he do it?

"We look at last year's Connacht semi-final against Mayo, and it's on the right-hand side, and he kicks this one on his right foot. I think if this is championship, he's kicking them off his right foot. As a teammate, I'd be demanding he kick them off his stronger right foot.

"He was a class act. His two points from play were awesome. It is a question over those pivotal moments. They would have got the momentum back on Galway's side."

2 April 2023; Shane Walsh of Galway takes a late free during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Final match between Galway and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Walsh said in an interview last year that whether he kicks frees with his right or left, or from his hands or off the ground, comes down to "instinct".


"[Shane Walsh] doesn't believe that he has a weaker foot," said Tyrone legend Canavan.


"He was on a podcast recently, and he was asked that question, he said 'I don't, I feel confident off either'.

"The one he kicked out of his hands, at the time I couldn't believe it. Against the breeze, with his left foot outside the 45, I couldn't believe he was kicking it with the left - [it went] straight over the bar.

"I do agree [with Paul Flynn]. I do believe his right foot is stronger. Those two kicks against Mayo last year in the Connacht semi-final, against a tough breeze, he hit them with his right peg over the bar. If that had been the championship, I'd be inclined to agree [with Paul]."


Tubridy, a freetaker during his inter-county career with Clare, offered some insight to what Walsh may have been thinking.

"In his defence, if you're a free taker and you stand over the ball, the factors which come into play are: Which way is the wind blowing, the surface, if the wind is going from left to right and you're kicking into it with your right leg...

"He probably thought kicking with the left that the wind was going to bring it over, carry it a little bit more. It's a tough call for him, but he probably should have kicked it off the right."


See Also: Three Years Have Turned Galway Man From Sceptic To Camogie Disciple

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