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Duignan: Kilkenny can make it count in replay against Galway

Updated: Saturday, 28 Jun 2014 13:30 | Comments

Galway are seeking their first championship win over Kilkenny since the 2012 Leinster final
Galway are seeking their first championship win over Kilkenny since the 2012 Leinster final

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A decent crowd is sure to converge on O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Saturday evening as Galway and Kilkenny meet again to decide who will face Dublin in the Leinster hurling final on Saturday week.

The drawn game ended in a welter of excitement with the Tribesmen finding the net three times before Henry Shefflin and Joe Canning exchanged points to ensure parity.

Michael Duignan feels Galway have room for improvement ahead of the replay. However, he goes with a “more balanced” Kilkenny to prevail.  

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “I think there’s room for improvement in Galway. There was that ten minutes in the second half the last day when they were outscored by 1-08 to no score. A number of their players did not play that well.

"Kilkenny over the 70 minutes last Sunday had the better balance" - Michael Duignan

“In saying that, you’d have to be impressed with the character Galway showed at the end. The subs they brought on made a difference and the urgency was there.

"Kilkenny, however, over the 70 minutes last Sunday had the better balance. They looked good when they had that purple patch in the second half. I think they’ll have learned the lesson from letting a big lead slip.

"They are going to miss Michael Fennelly and Richie Power but they should have enough to get over the line."

Duignan also cast his eye over the weekend hurling qualifiers. 

Antrim v Offaly

“Ballycastle is a tough place to go. Antrim’s recent record against Offaly is good. Offaly go there without any great expectation but they’ve made five changes from the last day [against Kilkenny].

"I think Colin Egan and David Kenny coming into the half-forward line will add a bit of strength and steel there.

"There's a lot of hurt pride in Offaly since the Kilkenny defeat and that might help them produce a big one-off performance. I’m going for an away win."

Waterford v Laois

“I think Laois’ display against Galway was ranked last weekend with Galway’s performance against Kilkenny. They go there [to Walsh Park] with a real chance.

"Waterford are re-building and have quite a few young players coming into the squad. Their form against Cork the first day was very good; however, they’d have been disappointed with how things went in the replay.

"I think at home Waterford just might have enough in what will be a close game.” 

Listen to live Radio coverage All-Ireland SFC qualifiers and Kilkenny v Galway in the Leinster SHC semi-final replay, throw-in 7pm (Saturday 28 June, RTÉ Radio 1 and RTE.ie from 2.45 pm).
 

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