Croke Park, 4pm Sunday


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Past 5 Championship Meetings

2017 Galway 0-13 Kerry 1-18 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

2014 Galway 2-10 Kerry 1-20 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

2008 Galway 1-16 Kerry 1-21 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

2002 Galway 1-12 Kerry 2-17 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

2000 Galway 1-10 Kerry 0-17 (All-Ireland final replay)

It is a game for the traditionalists to savour as provincial champions Kerry and Galway conclude the opening weekend of the inaugural Super 8s with a meeting at GAA HQ.

The counties have clashed in many memorable Croke Park encounters and there will be plenty to mull over when Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Kevin Walsh pit their wits on the sidelines this Sunday afternoon.

The two men stood in opposition on All-Ireland Final day 18 years ago as players, but now look to guide their respective counties to the last four of the All-Ireland Final race.

Since that 2000 final, the last four Championship meetings have been at the quarter-final stage, with the 2008 clash in torrential conditions a game that will live long in the memory. Though it is a fixtured by the men in green and gold.

It will be the 22nd meeting of the sides in Championship football, with the Munster men holding the advantage with 12 wins. Indeed you have to go back eight games and 53 years for the last time Galway got the better of Kerry.

The Kingdom will enter the game as favorites by virtue of the way they swept Clare and Cork aside in Munster, not to mention their comfortable win at this stage last year. They will follow up with a trip to face Monaghan before hosting Kildare in round three.

Galway are fancied by many to join Kerry in emerging from Group One, with an away game in Newbridge followed by a home tie with Monaghan their schedule of the intriguing quarter-finals.

Form Guide 

Kerry have looked imperious thus far as the new batch of minor All-Ireland winners are integrated into the set-up. Shane Murphy in goals, Jason Foley and Dr Crokes’ Gavin White have looked at home in defence, while the eye-catching performances of David Moran and Jack Barry in the middle of the park have meant a steady supply of ball for the attack.

Undoubtedly it is upfront where the side oozes talent. David Clifford and Sean O’Shea are huge additions to their options, where Paul Geaney, James O’Donoghue and Stephen O’Brien have looked in fine form to date. Throw in the experience of Darran O’Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy and Barry-John Keane and it is a unit that even Dublin might be casting an envious glance towards.

The Kingdom racked up 3-50 in their two games to date, and while the Tribesmen are expected to put up a more defensive orientated approach than Clare and Cork, they possess the movement and accuracy to open up the meanest of defences.

Galway laid down an early season marker by again dumping Mayo out of the Connacht Championship. It wasn’t a game to get the purists falling over themselves, but it was a win built on organisation, team spirit a doggedness to see off their neighbours in Castlebar.

Sligo provided little more than shooting practice as they ran up a tally of 4-20, while they made harder work of Roscommon in the final than they needed to.

Damien Comer is the focal point in attack, though can be just as easily spotted in his own defence such is the mantra to defend from the front. The early season form of Shane Walsh bodes well for Galway’s chances of progress, while the Paddy Talty’s influence on the defence is there for all to see. Based on what we have seen in 2018, any team will have to work hard to raise a white or green flag against the Tribesmen.

Player Watch

Paul Geaney (Kerry)

Singling out an individual in a full-forward line containing Paul Geaney, David Clifford and James O'Donoghue is like splitting hairs, but the Dingle man is likely to carry the biggest scoring threat to Galway.

Clifford is still finding his feet at this level and while he hits two points from play in the Munster Final, a couple of shots were pulled. O’Donoghue in the other corner looks to be getting back to the kind of form that made him the most feared forward in the game when the Kingdom last won Sam Maguire, but is as likely to assist as go for his own score.

The Dingle man is a poacher supreme. He plundered 2-05 against the Rebels, with his strength and ability to win his own ball, balance, strength off both feet and calm under pressure evident in spades.

The Galway defence will have its hands full, and should they manage to somehow keep the 27-year-old under wraps, it would be a large foundation block in their attempt to build a win.

Shane Walsh (Galway)

There has never been any question over the potential of the Kilkerrin-Clonberne forward, but injuries and loss of form have contributed to a bit of a slow-burner of an inter-county career. This year however the 25-year-old has become a key figure in Kevin Walsh’s plans.

He dug deep in the war of attrition against Mayo, clipping over three valuable points, while he displayed his prowess with a few long-range beauties against Sligo. His Connacht campaign concluded with a tally of 14 points and his accuracy from placed balls could be crucial before the summer is out.

Tomás Ó Sé verdict

"Kerry’s style of play has changed for sure, no doubt about that. They are more direct and have added a lot of pace and youth.

"We hammered Cork and they were very, very poor, but it was more about the style and manner of victory. There is no lateral stuff, they are going direct and playing like the Dubs have been playing for the past three or four years.

"There’s still a Jekyll and Hyde feel about Galway. You look at the Connacht final and they only racked up five points at half-time and played defensively. In the second half they committed and pushed up on the Roscommon kick-outs and blitzed their opponents.

"If that Galway in the second half turns up against Kerry, they will give them a game. I don’t think Galway trust the style of play they have still. They don’t trust their own defence.

"If Kevin Walsh has the courage to fully commit, he has very dangerous unit."


Sunday promises to be another fine summer’s, with highest temperatures of 22 degrees. An increase level of cloud should mean it may be slightly cooler than earlier this week, but still a day for t-shirts, shorts and sunscreen.

Follow  Kerry v Galway on Sunday  (throw-in 4pm)  via  the  live  blog  on RTÉ.ie/Sport and  the  News Now  App,  live on RTÉ2’s The Sunday Game or  listen  to live  updates on  RTÉ  Radio  1’s Sunday Sport.