As expected Galway hurlers dominate the Connacht interprovincial team that hosts their Ulster counterparts at Ballinasloe, Sunday 2pm.
Current Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham will manage Connacht a day after guiding Garrycastle to their first ever football All-Ireland club final appearance after beating his former team St.Bridgid’s in a hectic 48-hours for the former Galway hurler.
Cunningham like most inter-county managers must be wondering why the GAA settled for February as the month to re-introduce the public’s least favourite GAA cup competition when the ‘winter ban’ could facilitate, bar some club games, the four provinces attempt to claim the M Donnelly Cup for the first time in two years – it never went ahead in 2010.
With the National football League in full swing and the National Hurling League a week away from its annual bow, players and managers could be forgiven if their full attention is on other, more important matters.
Nevertheless the interprovincial series allows players from the various counties to get to know each other, it may even prevent violence at future inter-county matches. A bumper crowd is expected at the Ballinasloe venue where a Connacht victory is more than a certainty.
1. Jamie Ryan, 2. Kevin Hynes, 3 David Collins, 4 Ger O’ Halloran, 5 Tony Og Regan, 6 Fergal Moore, 7 Niall Donoghue, 8 Jason Grealish, 9 Donal Fox, 10 Eanna Ryan, 11 Niall Burke, 12 Bernard Burke, 13. Damian Hayes, 14. Johnny Coen, 15. Iarlaith Tannian
Graham Clarke (Down), Aaron Graffin (Antrim), Cormac Donnelly (Antrim), Sean Ennis (Down), Neal McAuley (Antrim), Liam Hinphey (Derry), Simon McCrory (Antrim), Conor Woods (Down), Neil McManus (Antrim), Michael Herron (Antrim), Kevin McGarry (Down), Michael Armstrong (Antrim) , Paddy McCloskey (Derry), Karl Stewart (Antrim), Shane McNaughton (Antrim), Michael Hughes (Down), Michael Ennis (Down), Ruairi McCloskey (Derry), Stephen Donnelly (Tyrone), Conor Coulter (Armagh), Eoin Clarke (Down), Declan Coulter (Armagh), Ryan Gaffney (Armagh), PJ O’Connell (Antrim), James Coyle (Down), Cathal Carville (Armagh)