Galway sweat on fitness of key trio ahead All-Ireland semi-final replay
GALWAY boss Micheal Donoghue is sweating on the fitness of key trio Joe Canning, Adrian Tuohey and Gearoid McInerney ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final replay date with Clare.
The Liam Mac Carthy holders were denied a place in the August 19 final by Jason McCarthy's last-gasp equaliser and, more so than the Banner, have been left to count the cost of a gruelling encounter.
Talisman Canning left the field after 82 minutes with a knee injury, Tuohey – who kept Podge Collins quiet – didn't come out for extra-time because of a back problem, while McInerney was forced off in the 53rd minute and left Croke Park with his right calf heavily strapped.
But ahead of Sunday's renewal in Thurles, Donoghue was giving little away about his walking wounded.
“Hopefully, there is nothing too bad. It's too early yet, I've hardly even seen them,” he said.
However, the Clarinbridge man admitted he was delighted with the role played by the men brought off with the bench, with Niall Burke and Jason Flynn particularly influential heading down the stretch.
“It was an epic encounter,” he continued.
“We got a good start and they came back well into the game and once they came back close to parity it just took on a life of its own. Both teams probably had chances in normal time, the same in extra-time, but look I'm really proud of our lads, they worked really hard.
“Any time they got a setback they came back and got the scores when we needed them. We picked up a couple a few knocks and the lads who came off the bench made a massive contribution.”
Donoghue was an animated figure on the sideline, regularly querying the decisions of referee James Owens.
“I was just trying to talk to him,” he smiled.
Yet the Wexford whistler had a key part to play, awarding Clare a soft enough free deep into added time in normal time, with Peter Duggan slotting over the bar to take the game into extra-time.
“Look, we had chances,” said Donoghue when asked if he was annoyed or relieved to be preparing for a replay.
“We were a point up and it was obvious, James, the way it was going, was going to give them a chance and he did. Look I think both teams deserve another crack at it.
“The way the game went, it ebbed and flowed. When we got a foothold in it Clare came right back and you have to give them unbelievable credit for that – both teams just went at it, and when you throw in the shower as well it made conditions really hard, so both teams did unbelievably well to adapt to the conditions.
“It's a game of massive magnitude, there's a huge prize at stake and I've no doubt it will be the same next week.”