Cathal Mannion hopes Galway can take second chance
By Cian O'Connell
Galway and Tipperary's rivalry drips with top quality matches so Cathal Mannion expects another to be added to the list at the LIT Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.
Thrilling All Ireland SHC semi-finals unfolded between the counties in 2015, 2016, and 2017. This weekend, though, a place in the last four is the considerable prize on offer.
It will be hugely different compared to operating at a packed Croke Park.
“I think obviously the build up and going into the stadium and no crowd or whatever is a lot different, even running our before the warm up or whatever," Mannion says.
“Once it’s thrown in, it’s the same as any other game."
Shane O'Neill's outfit learned valuable lessons during the Leinster decider defeat against Kilkenny according to Mannion.
“You are concentrating one what you have to do," Mannion adds. "The intensity was obviously a step up from the Wexford game, the previous game we had played.
“Both teams really went at it. Next Saturday is going to be an even bigger step up. What we did last week won’t be good enough for Saturday. Yeah, it was the intensity of a proper Championship game."
Galway collected the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2017 and the experience acquired during recent campaigns is important according to Mannion.
“The majority of the players are still there so the player has the experience of playing and winning that All-Ireland, but every year is different and definitely this year, Covid and all, it’s probably more different than any other year," Mannion states.
"We are just delighted to be back playing. Obviously when you put on your county jersey you want to win every game.
"We are delighted to be back playing and we are delighted there is a second chance coming up on Saturday."
Ultimately Galway must summon a response seven days after losing a provincial final against Tipperary. Does the fact that a round robin series was in operation in 2018 and 2019 help teams deal with a Championship loss quicker than before?
“I don’t know, you can look at it either way I suppose," Mannion replies.
"Everyone knew the format of the Championship before it started. You know what’s at stake before every game.
“We obviously knew last week what was at stake, and thankfully we have a second chance, so yeah just move on and get ready for Saturday, which is going to be a massive game for us.”