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Tribes' Moore fully mended and ready for battle

THE last thing Fergal Moore remembers about the National League semi-final last month against Kilkenny was just ten minutes into the game when he lined Walter Walsh up for a shoulder.

Then....black-out.

"I am 100 per cent," Moore told gathered media at yesterday's Leinster Council Championship launch. "I had to take a couple of weeks off mandatory after concussion. It's just one of those things and it's a contact sport.

"I went to give him a shoulder and turned funny and hit him wrong and that's just the way it was."

Unsurprisingly, he doesn't recall the contact. Similarly, he hasn't watched the footage of it back. And Moore maintains that Walsh's impressive height, width and breadth were hardly solely responsible.

"He is a big unit," Moore admitted. "But if he was two foot two, I probably would have knocked myself out anyway with the way I hit him. I think it was more a clash of heads more than anything."

Head injury protocol meant Moore spent two days in Clonmel Hospital, even if he wasn't particularly chuffed at the prospect.

"I wasn't happy about it but you have to respect that and I got top class care," he admits, adding that he is no more or less inclined to engage in hurling rough and tumble as a consequence of his experience.

"People say sport is dangerous. I think we talk about (horse racing) and other sports that are far more dangerous than hurling is. It is a contact sport, but to the outside eye, it looks very dangerous with people swinging hurls."

DANGEROUS

"But when you are actually playing it, it is not that dangerous at all.

"There will be collisions and accidental collisions and that's what that was but they are few and far between in comparison to other sport and I don't think any hurler would be worried about that going out onto the pitch."

Returning as Leinster champions, Galway couldn't possibly have been handed a more welcoming route to retaining their provincial crown.

Whilst the hurling world will await an early-season reinstallment of their summer rivalry with Kilkenny in the Leinster decider on July 7th, Galway can surely plan exactly that far, with just one match against Antrim, Laois, Carlow or London separating them from another crack at their All-Ireland final conquerors.

Kilkenny, Dublin, Wexford and Offaly, meanwhile, all reside on the other half of the most lopsided provincial draw of the year/ever.

Of becoming the first Galway man to captain the Tribesmen to a Leinster title, Moore recalls: "It was an unbelievable feeling and a very proud moment for myself, my family and club. Yeah on the day we were such raging underdogs that it added to the emotion of it as well.

"We didn't get too carried away afterwards and I think our performances after that showed right up to the All-Ireland replay the second day that we didn't get carried away and stayed working; But yeah that day was an unbelievable feeling and one I would love to repeat."

PRESSURE

There is, however, greater pressure now on Galway after such an impressive season.

"Of course there is. The Galway public are very expectant normally, and when you deliver some silverware as well, that adds to the pressure," Moore insists. "The more pressure we'll have is put on ourselves to deliver performances. It's a clean slate this year and a fresh start."


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