Galway need statistical improvement in attack

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By Peter McNamara

Galway have contested nine League and Championship outings in 2015.

And in seven of those nine games their match total number of points has tallied 20 or 21.

Joe Canning leads the Galway attack, but can he score enough to overcome the Cork tally.

Incredibly, in their five encounters in the secondary competition, Anthony Cunningham’s men scored 2-15 against Clare, 0-20 versus Tipperary, tallied 0-20 while tackling Kilkenny, another 0-20 in their three-point reverse to Cork (2-17) and 2-14 pitted against Dublin.

Additionally, the Tribesmen hit 1-17 in their Leinster SHC quarter-final drawn clash with Ger Cunningham’s side and struck 2-15 in the provincial final defeat to Brian Cody’s Cats.

Of course, Galway totalled 5-19 in the replay of the provincial last-eight tie.

Furthermore, Laois conceded 3-28 to Joe Canning and co in the Leinster semi-final.

Still, the statistics overwhelmingly suggest Cunningham’s charges tend to plateau at that 20- or 21- point total and such a figure will be viewed by Cork as a surmountable one when the sides meet in Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday.

And the reason for this is quite simple: Cork have been scoring much more freely throughout 2015 than Galway overall.

The Rebels have played 11 League and Championship games and the lowest total they recorded in eight of those matches was 23 points, twice.

On another occasion, while overcoming Clare most recently as a matter of fact, Cork scored 0-20.

The only times Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s unit have failed to tally 20 points or more was while engineering a four-point 0-18 to 0-14 League quarter-final victory over Wexford and in striking 0-17 in their League final loss to Waterford.

In fact, the Leesiders have managed to notch 30 points-plus on three of those 11 occasions too.

Specifically, Cork hit 24, 28 and 20 points respectively in the Championship thus far.

With all of these numbers in mind, belief that JBM’s outfit will be competing in another All-Ireland semi-final increases.

As it is, the westerners will actually have to play three or four points above the form they have shown generally against fellow Division 1 teams this term to avoid exiting the Championship before August once more.

In spite of all of that, it could be argued Galway’s Championship odyssey has been faced with greater obstacles than Cork have had to deal with in 2015.

For instance, none of Waterford, Wexford or Clare are as physically imposing as Dublin and Kilkenny are.

Regardless, Leesiders will be venturing to Thurles with understandable confidence!