After comfortably topping their group in the maiden season of the Super 8s, Dublin face a Galway side looking for their first Senior All-Ireland since 2001. With Croke Park likely to be packed with supporters from both sides, tickets won’t be easy to come by.
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For the ninth year in a row, SuperValu is supporting local clubs and promoting family fitness with its “Behind the Ball” campaign. It will be giving out 55,000 footballs to clubs as part of this year’s campaign. SuperValu stores throughout Ireland will be giving shoppers the chance to collect the official #BehindTheBall tokens for nine weeks and use them to help your local club.
It is also encouraging families and children to get more active with its Take Ten initiative as part of their mission to tackle childhood obesity. That’s why it has teamed up with GAA stars to create “Take Ten” fitness videos that are designed to encourage families to do 10-minute bursts of exercise together.
The question has been asked and repeated over and over since the weekend – can any of the three teams left defeat Dublin, or will it be a strolling procession to a fourth All-Ireland title in a row?
Dublin have got the players, the form, and the expectation to waltz through the final two games and claim what many feel is rightfully theirs.
One glance at the betting odds for this Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Galway says it all – the Connacht champions are a 6/1 outside shot in a two-horse race.
While the odds aren’t so astronomical as the Roscommon game on Sunday, it still looks an absolutely mighty task for Kevin Walsh’s men.
And yet, that may be exactly how they want it.
Galway were outplayed in Salthill on Saturday by Monaghan, of that there can be no doubt.
There was very little intensity in how they got after the ball. They seemed overly content to allow Monaghan possession and shied away from most contests.
Walsh conceded that the Ulster side were the better team on the day, but is it because they were a spent force, or that they were holding back?
Walsh did not make the sweeping changes to his side that Jim Gavin did, but a lot of his players looked to be trotting half-pace throughout the game. Perhaps, with one eye on next week and safe in the knowledge that they would likely have to beat Dublin at some stage in the Championship, Walsh allowed his players to take the foot off the gas.
Similarly, those that will be expected to start for the Dubs that took to the field against Roscommon did so at a reduced tilt. Cian O’Sullivan lasted just a half, John Small not much longer. James McCarthy came on in the second half and was visibly minding himself throughout his display.
It was a jog out, akin to a challenge match, except Dublin also had the strength in depth to make sweeping changes and have it pay off.