Terrific Tribesmen seal the deal

Photo: The 42 (Ryan Byrne/Inpho)

They did it. After 28 long years, the Liam McCarthy Cup is on its way back across the Shannon, back to Galway. Huge congrats to them on sealing the county’s fifth All-Ireland senior hurling title and their first since 1988.

It was, all told, a cracking final. Galway’s lightning start threatened to catch Waterford cold but once they’d got that goal, the Deise settled well and the two sides slugged it out toe-to-toe up to half-time and beyond.

Indeed, with twenty minutes or so to go Waterford briefly looked the more likely to prevail in what was now becoming a real cliffhanger final.  But that’s where Galway’s greater experience and composure came into play and some super shooting – the quality of the point-taking all day was off the map – saw them soar four clear coming down the closing stretch.

Try as they might, Waterford’s were unable to get back on terms, Galway prevailing in the finish by a margin of three points, on a scoreline of 0-26 to 2-17. The losers’ contribution to this final was huge and their gutsy, big-hearted performance is one that’ll live long in the memory but tonight and, one suspects, for a few weeks to come the pain at such a narrow loss will be raw.

Of all the neutral supporters in the country, we’re the only ones who can with absolute sincerity say that we know exactly how the Waterford fans feel right now. We know what this pain is like and we know too how long it’s set to last. But, like them, we also know all about the pride supporters feel when their team gives everything in an All-Ireland final only to come up narrowly short.

So, Deise people, chins up: your team did you proud and will, in time, give you cause to look back on 2017 with an immense sense of pride. It’s a young team too, one with plenty of promise and while shouts of ‘We’ll be back!’ can often sounds hollow on nights like this, you’ve every right to be confident that your chance for glory will come round again soon enough.

For Galway, it is, of course, a day of unbridled joy. The way the late Tony Keady was remembered on the day – both in the video shown on the big screen at half-time and how captain David Burke included a reference to him in his acceptance speech – was pure class.

I used to shout for the Galway hurlers quite a bit back in the Eighties and I still have fond memories of that peerless Tribesman half-back line of Finnerty, Keady and McInerney. That was a cracking team and it’s great that Galway hurling fans now have a whole new set of All-Ireland-winning heroes to toast.

From our perspective, today inevitably raises the very pertinent question as to whether or not we can follow suit in two weeks time and prove that the West truly is awake this year. That’s one for the coming days, though, as tonight is Galway’s to celebrate their great hurling triumph.

Celebrate it in fine style is what I’m full sure they’ll do. Well done to them for sealing the deal at Croke Park today.

38 thoughts on “Terrific Tribesmen seal the deal

  1. Fair play to them they delivered on the biggest day. A little different to us in that they were strong favourites but that can bring it’s own pressure.

    We now look to the third Sunday. Found myself getting a little emotional this evening, mostly at the thought of us getting over the line.

    The West is awake tonight, but it will be hopping in two weeks time.

  2. Yeah it was the same in our house, shouting on the Galway hurlers. Joe & John Connolly, Silvie linane, fr. Iggy Clarke, et al. Strange how we could love their hurlers but hate their footballers. Congrats Galway.

  3. Some scenes in Croke park today..Great to see a Galway win but was welling up watching Derek Mc Grath afterwards..You can tell he has put his heart and soul into Waterford..

  4. Congratulations to Galway , delighted for them . Christ, could you image the emotional scenes if Mayo won ..dare to dream !!!!

  5. Well done to Galway can’t help feeling sorry for Waterford 1958 is a long time. Security in Croker must be very tight today I saw the stewards holding up blue mesh wire if Mayo win Sam it will be severely tested lol

  6. We’ll done to the Tribesmen. The better team over the course of the game but Waterford were class too. I think hurling should get some kind of special status from the U.N. or something…a sporting/cultural UNESCO.
    As David Burke was making his speech I was dreaming of Cillian making his.
    I tell Ye, it’s in the shtars…….

  7. Great to see Galway win today, They did it for Tony Keady ,a legend
    Remember often seeing Brendan Lynskey and himself at Mayo matches in
    the Eighties. Two mighty characters.
    First leg of a Western Double

  8. Like the rest of you, I too put Mayo in Galway and Waterford`s position afterwards….As we all know too well, All Irelands are so hard to win….
    On one hand, I thought of us in Galways position and the sheer emotion that would flood over Croke Park….I reckon the Mayo supporters would still be in Croke Park at 7pm should we win.
    After all, how could we leave the scene of such a triumph after waiting for 66 years.

    On the other hand, I then put ourselves in Waterfords position, a position that we know only too well.
    Waterford today, sadly showed, that you can play well, very well at times in an All Ireland Final, yet still lose in heartbreaking fashion….I thought a key moment came midway through the second half when Waterford, already a point up, missed a great chance to go 2 points up.
    Instead, Galway reeled off 3 points in 5 minutes and it was they who went 2 points up instead.
    It is on moments like this that All Irelands are won and lost.

    It reinforces my belief that we will have to deliver the ultimate team performance to win in 2 weeks time. Its something that I believe we are capable of, provided that managements game plan is spot on, and carried out to perfection by our players.
    Waterford proved today that giving an heroic and impressive performance on its own is no guarantee of success.

    Have to compliment both sets of supporters today who I thought were outstanding in their support of their respective counties and very sporting with it.

  9. Just stopped for some Grub on the way home from the match. Cracking day. Heart goes out to waterford. Delighted for our neighbours

    Can’t even pretend that my mind wasn’t trailing to a final whistle in two weeks and a speech from Cillian.

    This time two weeks…

  10. So delighted for Galway and as a Mayo man living in the hurling heartland of Athenry I can only salute the amazing work done by Michéal Donoghue and the lads. Like ourselves they have gone to the well many times and it was so inspiring to see that persistence does finally pay off! I hope Stephen and our boys can take inspiration from these mighty lads and believe that we can do the same. Well done Galway and come on Mayo!

  11. Yeah it’s hard not to think ahead to what it might be like in two weeks if we win. Our lads need to take that extra bit of inspiration from those magical scenes at the end. Henry Sheflin said that the hurt of losing drove Galway on to win. Be Jazus if any team has plenty of that stuff it’s Mayo. The lads just need to unleash that with a fury that will blow the dubs away despite their obvious talents. A lot of winning is in the head and in the heart.
    I think in the past we may have played with a fear of failure which is a negative. I think this year our lads are playing with a different attitude: we are pissed off with losing!

  12. Superb from Galway…the road is open for Mayo now. Hope the west is awake and alive at the end of this month. Mayo Galway…Sam, Liam and add in Brendan too!!! (for the laides!!)

  13. Well done to Galway today. They’ve taken a lot of abuse down through the years after coming up short in so many finals but today they rewrote the history books, today is their day. Some folk on here drawing parallels to ourselves, however, ours is a much steeper mountain to climb. Today Galway went into this game as clear favourites, and the favourites rarely lose finals. For us to win would take nothing short of the best ever performance in the life each and every one of the 21 players that run onto that battle field in two weeks time. Whether we can emulate the great achievement of our near neighbours will be known in 14 days time.

  14. Emotional all Ireland day, as always! Would love our lads to experience the happiness that those fantastic Galway lads experienced today. The count down continues and the ticket hunt!!!

  15. Watch in the hurling again there now on YouTube (because RTE player is shite!!!) Then watched Joe Connolly’s iconic speech from 1980. I can’t take anymore. I’m going to bed.

  16. Well done Galway and hard hard luck to Waterford. You kept reeling Galway back when they went ahead. You even took the lead in the second half. But sport is tough and there’s only ever one winner. But team and fans deserve to hold their heads high.
    Just watched the Sunday Game. Remember 2016 after replay, Des Cahill chaired an inquisition of journalists and pundits on the subject “Have this Mayo team any chance of winning an all Ireland.” He went around the group in solemn fashion as one after another signed our death warrant. This wasn’t done today after the hurling final. Why not Des?

  17. 16,500 tickets allocated to Mayo out of 82,300. Lets hope we can find another 23,500 so we have 40,000+ Mayo Supporters in Croker on 17th.

  18. Lads unbelievable night here in Tuam. some emotional day today with Joe Canning staying on the field with Tony Keadys wife and family as the cup was presented…. A classy gesture. Memories of 98 and 01 tonight i sincerely hope ye can pull it off in 2cweeks… Back to me pint…

  19. a quick question, who decides that dublin gets 274 euro from the gaa for every club player in the county while Mayo get 21 odd euro? I seen that chart again this evening outlining what every county get, talk about short term plans, a lot of counties will just drop away from the games because they stand no chance

  20. Roared on galway yesterday. Delighted for them. Theyve been there or thereabouts for a good few years. Would know some of the current squad and players on recent teams. A great bunch of lads. Hard luck to Waterford. We know the heartache. Hopefully they’ll get one soon. Hopefully we can join the hurlers with our own bit of history Sunday week. Well done to the galway minors as well. A great day for galway yesterday. Hip hip horray.

  21. Great Win for Galway, the west as they say is truly awake- while galway were on the steps of the hogan,i transported myself to two weeks time,i could almost hear cillian, i had a warm feeling in the belly imagining him thanking us the 16th man brigade,imagine the roar-
    thought galway’s desire yesterday was phenomenal, Joe Canning is one classy act,to see him standing with Tony Keadys family,that was special,have to say i felt shocking for derek mcgrath ,i suppose it was because i can say we know exactly how he feels-
    we have the game of our lives in 13 days lads and lassies,and as someone mentioned above we are P***** OFF losing,
    our build up is truly underway,i cant wait- the thought of having sam over the shannon to accompany his brother liam
    is just what we all need on a monday morning
    cmon mayo

  22. Fantastic win for them, I’m sure we all had some relations in the crowd yesterday, theres a lot of bonds back and forth the border.
    All the talk about the hurt driving them on is annoying me though, you need to play really well, to beat the opposition in probably 10 out of 15 positions, for your bench to contribute, for things to break for you during the game (a ball flicking to your player instead of theirs) and to get a good fair shake of the decisions to win it. Hurt has feck all to do with it.
    having said that, Waterford seemed to get all of the breaks yesterday and the ref rode Galway I thought which makes their win all the more impressive. A team without the right character might have doubted themselves with things going against them.

  23. Justoutsideballagh, the true amount of tickets available isnt 82300, when you take corprate tickets, sponsors tickets, media allocations and a host of other bodies allocations (croke park residents get a sizable allocation, referees association get around 200, past players, Politicians etc etc) their are approx 60000 tickets available to be dispersed throughout participating counties and all other counties, the majority of which will make their way back to either Mayo or Dublin.

  24. Indeed, I found myself a bit emotional when Burke was making his speech. Dreaming of Cillian doing the same would make any man with Mayo blood have tears in their eyes. But it’s up to the players to deliver.

  25. Not forgetting the Fabulous Galway Minors werent they great. 2 Cups won and brought across the Shannon .Lets make it 4 cups
    Come on the Mayo Ladies
    and the Mayo Men
    We can do it.

  26. I see where Charlie ‘True Blue’ Redmond in his weekly SW column informed the nation that the Dublin ‘juggernaut’ will roll over Mayo in 2 weeks time and that Gavin drew first blood with his reference to Dublin ‘underperforming’ in last years finals. Spillane meanwhilst in his column droned on about the current failures in Kerry football and only made a brief reference to Mayo…..that being that he doesn’t think we’ll beat Dublin. Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden Kerry supposedly don’t have a great football team now that they’ve been beaten by us?…………I don’t remember people saying we had a poor team in the mid-noughties when we were losing to Kerry; instead it was a great Kerry team.

    On top of all that Tyrone supposedly ‘underperformed’ against us last year with Sean Cavanagh reminding people after the Dublin game that they left that particular match ‘behind them’.

    Of course there’s only one way to cure all that nonsense…………..and that’s to win the damn thing in 2 weeks time!

  27. Also Marc On Shea article in paper yesterday …. what a gobshite to write such drivel …..
    The article was all about kerry…. not one mention of how mayo chocked the life out of them. Once aiden shut down Donaghy kerry had very little avenues to threaten the mayo goals.
    He even had the audacity to mention how the mayo support influenceduring the referee. .
    The article came across as bitter and no acknowledgement of the excellent mayo performance on the day.

  28. Backdoorsam I hear what you are saying but if we win in two weeks we should respect our boys and stay well off the pitch. Its been one of the best rules the GAA have brought in over the past number of years to allow the group savor the moment together. It also protects the defeated side who are going through the ringer. I’d hope we would allow our lads that moment if they are successful. There will be plenty of time to congratulate and embrace them in the hours and days after.

  29. Fair play to Galway. I think 2 me ingredients to their victory will need to matched by Mayo for a Connacht clean sweep. 1. Phyiscality – controlled. I have no doubt Mayo are as good if not slightly better than Dublin. 2. Contribution off the bench – massive for Galway yesterday and where Mayo it’s hard to argue (on paper at least) will match Dublin…and remains the reason I strongly believe SR will need to keep some of the hard runners on the bench for 2nd half.

  30. Hope I have as good a seat for the football, as I had for this one.

    Great day for Galway – by God they have had a long wait too. Waterford not far off, but just less composure – a word we should be paying a lot of attention to.

    I was noting how both sets of spectators cheered or roared during the match. Felt there were a lot of bandwaggoners in the Waterford support. Not a lot wrong with that, but it comes up short at vital times – the Waterford roar which was good in the first half, died away when Galway got a grip. Before the game, I was amazed to see so many Waterford fans clogging up traffic at the bars/food area of the Cusack, while Waterford were coming out on to the field!

    We need to ensure that the Mayo roar keeps going, through thick and thin. Dublin of course will be there in big numbers.

  31. Refereeing was excellent yesterday it’s worth noting. Not sure it was always right but it was always consistent and the players understood it almost immediately. Interesting how there is never any calls for blackcard in hurling considering they are just as capable of the dark arts. McInerney rugby tackled a Waterford lad bearing down on goal in last 10mins…:if it was football there would have been outrage but the hurling fraternity don’t do that to each other on the punditry side.

    Hurling seems ultra competitive now. Anyone if 8 or so teams capable of winning it. Football at moment looks like 3 teams…maybe 4 if we forgive Tyrone a below par performance.

  32. Well done Galway, I was delighted for them yesterday and heartbroken for a valiant Waterford side that gave it their all. Great reffing yesterday it’s a pity the football referees are so quick to whistle and stop the flow of a game. I can’t fathom how the contact in hurling is accepted while football has become too sterile with some of the whistle happy referees.

    I would bet my bottom dollar that uncle Joe will be given the final, I hope he doesn’t get it as if he does Mayo will have to be at least three points better than Dublin to even draw the game. How anyone living and working in Dublin city could be considered for this game is ludicrous. Even considering the man himself, can you imagine him going to work on Monday morning if Dublin don’t win, he will be blamed rightly or wrongly for some few decisions not to mention if he makes an honest blunder that favours Mayo,,, he would have to relocate to a bunker. This why it’s not fair on Mayo and it’s not realistic to expect that he would not be geographically biased whether consciously or otherwise towards Dublin.

    I was delighted for Joe Canning yesterday and I would love to see the likes of Andy, Boyler, Keegan the O Sheas, Cafferky and Keith Higgins to name but a few walk up the steps of the Hogan stand and collect Sam and bring him back to Mayo to shorten the winter of 2017. Sometimes strange things happen and a teams name is just on the cup, I have a feeling that this is Mayo’s year, I can’t wait !!

  33. Would it just be impractical to say that if you work in either of the competing counties you cant ref it? I’d go so far as to say you cant be from the competing provinces either.
    People will say that it is impractical but it used to be that way, not so long ago the fact that it was a Connacht and Leinster team in the final would have everyone discounting all of the refs from tosee two provinces and drawing up a shortlist of who is the required standard from the other two.
    The reason people may say its impractical is down to the fact I think that the GAA’s referring programme isnt working. I dont know why but some of it may be to do with the amount of abuse the association allows referees to receive at grass roots level. You need refs at grass roots in order for the conveyor belt to roll on up to the higher levels. Why anyone would be a ref at the grass roots level is beyond me. They generally get nothing but abuse and nothing is done to protect them. There should be zero tolerance of it and strong vetting/referee assesment so that that those who may be unsuitable are “managed out” but people on the side line shouldn’t be allowed to act any way they want towards the referee which is the way it is at the moment. Similarly refs shouldn’t be allowed to ref if they dont have the aptitude for it.

  34. Really happy for Galway. Congrats to them on winning the MacArthy cup.
    Let’s hope we can do the same with Sam!
    And like Galway, please God, have a bit to spare coming down the stretch!

  35. Fair point Stephen I can’t argue with that I’ll be happy as long as we win and even if we don’t I’ll be in Castlebar Monday evening to greet the team and support them.This team has given us some fantastic days out. I think they’ll win and am resting my voice to roar them on on the 17th

  36. Thanks for all the warm-hearted comments regarding Galway hurlers….no surprise I’m such a fervent Mayo supporter too. Now all hopes and prayer can go Mayo’s way.

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