Galway's treble heroes remembered
Published 14/09/2016 | 02:30
With the All-Ireland football final only four days away, it's an appropriate time to recall the 50th anniversary of a feat that remains rare (well, apart from Kerry).
Galway completed an All-Ireland football treble in 1966, joining Kerry, Dublin and Wexford as the only counties to win three in a row.
Only Kerry have completed the treble since Galway 50 years ago. Six teams (Kerry 1969-70 and 2006-07, Offaly 1971-72, Dublin 1976-77, Meath 1987-88 and Cork 1989-1990) won the double since then but failed at the third attempt, underlining how difficult it is.
Remarkably, the great Galway team conceded only one goal in six Championship visits to Croke Park in 1964-65-66, during which they beat Kerry, Down and Cork in the semi-finals and Kerry (1964-65) and Meath in the finals.
Mattie McDonagh, who died in 2005, was at centre-forward in all three campaigns, having earlier won his first All-Ireland senior medal as a 19-year-old in 1956. It leaves him as the only Connacht man to have won four All-Ireland medals, a record that may never be matched, let alone broken.
Unusually, Galway had an 18-year-old at midfield in 1966, when Jimmy Duggan turned in an outstanding display in the final against Meath.
Another unusual feature in 1966 saw Jimmy Hatton (Wicklow) referee the football final, having also been in charge of the Cork-Kilkenny senior hurling final and the Cork-Wexford minor hurling final replay.
The Galway team in the 1966 final was: J Geraghty; E Colleran, N Tierney, JB McDermott; C McDonagh, S Meade, M Newell; J Duggan, Pa Donnellan; C Dunne, M McDonagh, S Leydon; L Sammon, S Cleary, J Keenan.
Sub: J Donnellan for Meade.