Joe Canning more than happy to 'stick it' to Galway's critics

Galway's Joe Canning celebrates his goal in last Sunday's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final win over Clare  
Jackie Cahill

JOE CANNING admitted it was nice to “stick it” to Galway’s critics following last Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final victory over Clare at Semple Stadium.

Canning shone like a beacon and scored 1-8 as the Tribes men saw off Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare to book a place in the semi-final against Tipperary on August 14. Galway were pilloried following their Leinster final collapse against Kilkenny, but they could meet the Cats again if they come through their respective All-Ireland semi-finals.

And Canning said Galway derived huge satisfaction from beating Clare after former Banner county boss Ger Loughnane labelled them “gutless” following the Kilkenny slump: “It always is, that’s part and parcel of it. If it was said about yourself, you’d like to stick it to them. It’s the same in every walk of life, there’s always people trying to put you down, but that’s part and parcel of it,” he said.

“You put yourself out there on the sporting field and you’re there to be shot down.”

But the Tribe ace was preaching caution ahead of another August collision with Tipperary. Last year, Galway won by a point as Shane Maloney came off the bench to pinch a winner: “We set out our stall to win the [Clare] game and that’s all we did," Canning added.

“There were periods in the second-half where they got on top and there’s always room for improvement heading into a semi-final.”

And Canning sent his best wishes to Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald, his former Fitzgibbon Cup winning manager with Limerick IT. Fitzgerald was well enough to patrol the Semple Stadium touchline after undergoing heart surgery earlier in the week: “It’s only a game at the end of the day. This is a hobby for us. There’s more important things in life," he said.

“You see Fitzy there getting sick during the week and it’s great to see him on the sideline - we wish him every success in his recovery. I went through it last year with Mam and I’m going through it with Dad. You have more important things in life than sport. Comments made about certain individuals when they play an amateur sport and it’s a hobby, it does hurt.

“When you go out on the field, you try to express yourself to the best of your ability but, at the end of the day, there’s way more important things in life than hurling.”

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