Yesterday’s Connacht final was tense and tight from first ’till last, the outcome decided by the minimum margin. The Man of the Match poll here on the blog didn’t exhibit the same close margins – Eoghan McLaughlin wins the award with an emphatic 32% of the vote.
His last-second intervention – in which he felled the in-rushing Seán Kelly, just outside the large parallelogram – prevented Galway from bagging the late goal that would have won the match and the Nestor Cup for them. Before that, though, the young Westport player had played a prominent part in proceedings, coming close to scoring a spectacular goal that, had it gone in, would surely have put the tie beyond Galway’s reach.
Eoghan is still only twenty years of age but since his debut off the bench against Meath in Navan back in February, he has forced his way into the first fifteen. With five successive starts at wing-back since the inter-county action resumed, I think it’s safe to say he’s now well established on the team. Little wonder too, in light of the strong performances he’s been putting in week after week and, in particular, at Salthill yesterday.
Others who featured strongly in the poll on yesterday’s Connacht final were the vastly experienced Chris Barrett (17% of the vote), GAA Player of the Week nominee Mattie Ruane (16%), young gun Tommy Conroy and captain fantastic Aidan O’Shea (both on 5%). Well done to all of them.