Saturday 3 December 2016

Cyril Farrell: Galway need to win this one now - it would be their greatest ever

Cyrill Farrell

Published 17/08/2015 | 02:30

Galway boss Anthony Cunningham celebrates at the final whistle while
Galway boss Anthony Cunningham celebrates at the final whistle while
'Eamon O’Shea leaves Tipperary now but he can hold his head high'

Anthony Cunningham promised Brian Cody after the Leinster final that they would meet again and he made good on his word.

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He's made a lot of hard calls and has thrown a lot of young lads in there, the likes of Conor Whelan, Jason Flynn and the Mannions, but they repaid his faith yesterday.

The game had everything with great scores, great saves, and great tackles. There were huge hits going in everywhere and it was a thrill a minute, easily the best game of the year so far.

Gameplans went out the window and there was just ferocious hurling up and down the field. Both teams threw caution to the wind and it was exactly the game we needed to bring the championship to life.

Whirlwind

Tipperary started in whirlwind fashion and Seamus Callanan was simply unmarkable all day. His personal tally of 3-9 was outstanding but Galway hung in every time he got a goal. It was unbelievable to think Galway went in a point up at half-time.

Every time Tipperary looked like pulling away Cunningham's men were able to close the gap, which shows there's something different about this Galway team. What impressed me most was the workrate of the Galway lads when they were beaten to the ball, they were getting in hooks and blocks which were vital.

Johnny Glynn might not have got the scores he did against Cork but you couldn't fault his effort.

It's hard to win a game conceding three goals and not scoring one but Galway had a great range of scores with nearly every forward chipping in.

Joe Canning came out to the half-forward line and won a huge amount of ball and his pass to young Shane Moloney at the end summed up his performance, always doing the right thing for the team.

I had heard that Moloney was flying in training and he took his chance well especially after being off the mark with an earlier effort.

He has great pedigree and massive confidence in his ability but what an impact to make on your first outing with the seniors.

It just shows you that you have to be ready when you get the call.

Galway gave a great team performance but I though Daithí Burke in particular had a ferocious game. He was able to match Patrick 'Bonner' Maher and stopped him getting through all the hard graft which Tipperary rely on.

The two Callanans, Colm and Seamus, were outstanding and the Galway goalkeeper's save from Lar Corbett and the penalty stop from his namesake were massive turning points.

Eamon O'Shea leaves Tipperary now but he can hold his head high. They won Munster and never gave in yesterday but Galway were that bit hungrier.

Cunningham's men are in a great position now and it'd be some final to win.

They've beaten Cork and Tipperary already and to beat Kilkenny would be the icing on the cake.

Galway will have a lot of bruises but you don't feel them when you win and they'll be buzzing for September 6 to come.

All Brian Cody will be focusing on is getting Kilkenny right for the next day.

Kilkenny are still the aristocrats but if Galway can learn from their defeat in the Leinster final and put some of those mistakes right they'll push them to the pin of their collars.

It's great for Galway to be there but it's all about winning now.

The lads in 1988 were brilliant but it's time for a new group to come along. We need to win this one and if we do, it would go down as the greatest ever.

Final word goes to the Galway minors. They're probably the most improved team in the country and for their resilience alone they deserved their last-gasp win over Kilkenny.

Much like the drawn game and extra-time, it was completely against the head as the Cats looked to be cruising but goals win matches and Jack Kenny and Cian Salmon struck late to seal a special day for Galway.

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