Galway most dangerous when they are written off
Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30
It's just incredible to think that Galway haven't won an All-Ireland hurling title in 27 years.
As a kid, my first hurling memories are of the great team of late '80s. Joe Cooney, 'Hopper' McGrath and Gerry McInerney were the names I knew before any others in sport.
With my county, Clare, no more than a Championship afterthought, I can remember the devastation at Cork's five-goal robbery of the 1990 All-Ireland.
Galway were the people's team, everyone's second favourite county.
What has happened between now and then is one of the great mysteries of Irish sport. Galway have become the team you don't know what you'll get from, the team capable of anything.
It's a cliché sure, but one they consistently live up to.
Even this year, I was in Croke Park to see them hang on by the skin of their teeth against Dublin, with only a missed David Treacy free saving them from a deserved defeat. A week later, they had Dublin beaten in five minutes.
Against Cork, they were absolutely brilliant at times. We dismissed it because Cork were going through a crisis of their own this year.
Against Tipperary, they showed the character to consistently come back from the dead in one of the best All-Ireland semi finals ever played. But then we talked about Tipp's unfair five-week gap.
And Kilkenny completely outclassed them in the Leinster final. Does anyone believe in Galway?
The inconsistent Galway of the last 27 years have produced some of the greatest one-off displays in the history of the game. In the 2001 and '05 All-Ireland semi-finals and in the 2012 Leinster final, Kilkenny were on the receiving end of those performances. Each time, nobody saw it coming.
We don't believe in them? That's when they're at their most dangerous. Kilkenny beware.