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'We've got no home games' - Donoghue calls for neutral venue in Walsh Cup final

Galway are set to travel to Wexford for the final of the pre-season competition.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park

GALWAY MANAGER MICHEAL Donoghue has called on the Leinster Council to fix next Sunday’s Walsh Cup final against Wexford at a neutral venue.

Joe Canning superbly steered over a sideline cut in the 73rd minute to lift Galway to a one-point victory against Dublin in today’s semi-final.

Wexford’s three-point win over Kilkenny in the other semi-final set-up a final showdown with the Tribesmen, but the Model County are set to have home advantage for the decider.

“Look, we had to come here today,” said Donoghue. “We’re after hearing that we have to go to Wexford. I’d be hoping that that’s still not a foregone conclusion, that we might get a neutral venue.

“Hopefully, Leinster Council will look at that for us, that we get a neutral venue for the coming week because every team is at the same stage of preparation and it’s a big commitment to expect us to go down to Wexford next Sunday.

Galway during the national anthem Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Galway travelled to last year’s meeting with Wexford in the same competition, only for the game to be postponed due to heavy snowfall.

“It’s just that we’ve got no home games in it,” said Donoghue. “Maybe the fixture was made but today was getting a good work out and I’m really happy with the way the lads worked and performed.”

Canning was a late addition to the Galway bench, arriving onto the field in the 67th minute with his team two in front.

He was involved in the John Hetherton sending off minutes after his introduction, with the Dublin forward dismissed for barrelling into Canning following a foul on Sean Loftus.

Oisin O’Rorke assumed free-taking duties from the red-carded Hetherton and clipped over two dead-balls to level the game up as full-time approached. Galway were awarded a sideline under the main Parnell Park stand, which Canning beautifully cut over the bar.

Donoghue admitted that decisive sideline cut was a trademark Canning score.

“It is his forte, yeah, and obviously it was a massive execution of it and no better man
standing over it,” he said.

“We had the breeze in the first-half, they had it in the second-half, they came back well, brought it back to parity and could have gone to extra-time or frees or penos or whatever it would have been. But Joe stood up and got a great sideline cut.

Joe Canning arrives Joe Canning arrives before the game. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“We were in a good position but conditions were massive. There was a huge breeze and testament to Dublin that they came out in the second-half, got the first two scores, put us under the cosh, you know, they went for the goal from the 21, they had a goal disallowed, so we were under ferocious pressure.

“From our perspective a lot of the young lads stood up and it was a massive learning experience for them. As I said, we’re not getting carried away, it was only January. It was good to get a competitive game and we’ll move on now and get back to training this week.”

The Tribe boss praised the performance of midfielder Cathal Mannion, who assumed free-taking duties and posted 0-10, including five from play.

“I thought he done well. Equally did a lot of the other lads. He is a huge leader in the team. He showed all his capabilities in his scoring from play and his free-taking.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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