by Declan Rooney
Facing the TG4 All-Ireland senior champions in the last four will be a massive test of Stephen Glennon’s Galway ladies, but one of his star attackers, Leanne Coen, is keen to shine against one of the country’s best sides tomorrow (SAT).
In her first year as a regular starter for the Tribeswomen, the Corofin attacker has carved a real reputation in the game as a lethal finisher and the 4-8 she has fired in the All-Ireland series suggests Dublin will have their hands full at Dr Hyde Park (Live TG4, 4.30pm).
Two convincing wins over Mayo have bookended their championship campaign, but as the last team to defeat Mick Bohan’s Dublin – Galway’s Lidl national league win was avenged in the knock-out stages – Coen (19) knows they have a chance of reaching a first final in 13 years.
“I think everyone has big ambitions of winning an All-Ireland and that’s our ambition for the year anyway,” said Coen.
“It has been way to long since the county won it so hopefully we can try and change it this year.
“I wasn’t involved last year for the quarter-final against Cork. I was brought in to the extended squad, so I got to see it.
“But we hope it will be a different year this year for us. We’ve already got past the quarter-final, which hasn’t been done in a while, so we’re over the moon with that.”
While Coen will be well marshalled in Galway’s inside line, equally, though, at the other end the Connacht champions will have their hands full if they want to quench the influence of Dublin playmaker Lyndsey Davey.
The Skerries Harps star is one of Dublin’s more experienced players and she has experienced plenty of heartache in their three All-Ireland final defeats before last season’s success.
The convincing manner of their wins against Mayo (twice), Westmeath and Waterford suggest Galway will take any chance presented to them, so Davey is keen to see the Galway attack silenced.
“Yeah they were impressive (against Mayo). They are a very strong side, we know all about them. In the league semi final we kind of had a lucky win against them. but look, they are a very talented side and I have no doubt it is going to be a very challenging battle in the last four,” said Davey.
“But look that’s what you want, you want those kind of tough games. It’s a big game and you never get anything easy at this stage of the competition they are a fantastic side.
“They showed in their quarter final that they are dangerous in front of goal, they are good at getting goals and that’s something that we will have to work hard to negate. We have a lot of work to do in the forwards too as well.”
There is no doubt that Dublin were the most impressive winners in the last eight and their 3-19 to 1-7 victory over Kerry was certainly convincing. Davey (28) is not totally satisfied though and thinks Dublin need to up their game this weekend.
“I think we made a lot of mistakes throughout the game, giving away a couple of possession but every game you want to learn and improve from and hopefully we’ll look back on it and build on it for the semi-final.
“I think our decision making improved as the game went on and we played with a bit of composure. Thankfully the scores started to go over. It is a work in progress though. If you can learn and build from every game that’s all you can do.”