Micheál Donoghue tempers expectations after league win

"We're very conscious of the time of the year," he said after yesterday's victory over Tipperary

BY Cian Roche 11:30 Monday 24 April 2017, 11:30 24 Apr 2017

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Galway hurling manager Micheál Donoghue has moved to lower expectations following Galway's 16-point win over Tipperary in Sunday's league final.

The Tribesmen notched 3-21 against the reigning All-Ireland champions, but Donoghue insists he is not reading too much into the manner of their win.

"Our outlook hasn't really changed over the last couple of weeks," he told Neil Treacy after yesterday's game. "We wanted to get to the knockout stages and play the top teams. 

"We're only in April and the Championship is yet to start. Our focus has been to get competitive games, but one eye has been on the May 28."

Tipperary came into the game on the back of their rout of Wexford in the semi-final, but could only muster 14 points against the Westerners. Michael Ryan's side were missing Seamus Callanan from their forward ranks, but could still call upon brothers John and Noel McGrath, as well as Michael Breen and John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer for the game. 

Donoghue explained that in order to get a result against their normally prolific opponents, they had to stay in touch in the opening stages.

"They didn't start at 100mph and that gave us an opportunity to get into the game. We were very conscious that we'd have to still be in the game after 10 or 15 minutes.

"Our use of the ball in the first half could have been better but we were still in a good place." 

Joe Canning with captain David Burke celebrate winning the Division 1 trophy. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The result adds another layer for what is set to be an enthralling All-Ireland hurling series this year. Kilkenny continue to regroup after a disappointing league campaign and Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford appear to be the emerging force coming out of Leinster.

Tipperary's defeat will show opponents that the gap at the top is closing, while for Galway, a win over Ryan's side may give them the momentum needed to compete in a second All-Ireland final in three years.

Donoghue added: "We're delighted with the win, but we're very conscious of the time of the year. We have to keep our ship in order." 

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