Galway’s James Skehill is expecting a busy day between the posts against Kilkenny in Sunday’s All-Ireland Hurling final.
The Galway goalkeeper was impressed by the Cats’ semi-final demolition of Tipperary, and told RTÉ’s Brian Carthy that they will have to produce a massive performance to beat Kilkenny for the second time this summer.
“Kilkenny produced a really devastating performance in the semi-final against Tipperary,” said Skehill. “They were hugely impressive."
“I’ll be honest and say that I did not expect us to get a start like that in the Leinster final" - James Skehill
"They have reached the level they have been at for the past few years, and it’s going to take a massive performance from us to try and overcome Kilkenny.
“We know that the Leinster final probably hurt them, no more than it would have hurt us if we were in the same situation. But all we can do is concentrate on ourselves and try and produce a performance that will exceed theirs.”
Skehill pointed to the introduction of new blood into the panel this season as one of the major factors behind the Tribesmen’s improved performances this season.
“This year we asked ourselves to produce a level of consistency that would get us to a semi-final, if not a final,” said Skehill. “With all the youth and exuberance we brought in at the start of the year it added an extra dimension to the panel. They added a real get-up-and-go attitude, no more so than the experienced lads who demanded that of themselves also.”
“It gave the likes of myself and Joe Canning an extra kick to try and produce the intense kind of performance that will overcome teams like Kilkenny and thankfully we are going well so far.”
And while the Cappataggle netminder was pleased with how things transpired in the Leinster final, he is not expecting an easy ride on Sunday.
He added: “I’ll be honest and say that I did not expect us to get a start like that in the Leinster final. I suppose I did not touch the ball for 19 or 20 minutes and I can guarantee you that will not happen in the All-Ireland final. They struck three goals in 15 minutes against Tipperary and that is defiantly a concern.
“I have been on the back of some bad defeats with Galway and it’s nice to have some success for once.”