Tuesday 20 March 2018

Debutant strike sends Tribe on the hunt for big game trophy

Galway fans Enda Murphy (8) and his father Paul, from Athenry, at Croke Park yesterday
Galway fans Enda Murphy (8) and his father Paul, from Athenry, at Croke Park yesterday
Henry O’Toole (5) with his mother Edwina O’Toole, from Moycullen, before the big semi-final
Tipperary fan Emily Ryan, from Golden, gives the thumbs up ahead of the game
Tipperary fans David Sullivan and Ciara O’Meara. Photos: Gareth Chaney; Arthur Carron and Stephen McCarthy
A Galway fan reacts during the match.
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

It is said that goals win games, but yesterday's All Ireland hurling semi-final saw the adage turned on its head as Galway edged out Tipperary with a last-gasp point.

Fans of the Tribesmen are on the hunt for All Ireland final tickets after their hurlers came through their dramatic clash.

The tight encounter was won by debutant Shane Moloney, who scored the winning point for Galway in the third minute of added time. It was his first ever senior championship point for the county.

"Of all the days they go wide, today it went over… thankfully," he said afterwards.

"It's what we've been training for since the start of the year. We took it game by game and we're after rollercoastering into a final now thank god," he added.

"I knew there was two minutes up but it's a puck-out game and Iarla [Tannion] then blocked it down. When I knew Iarla had the ball I had a fair feeling that was going to be it, so thankfully Barry Kelly blew the final whistle."

Galway will now go on to meet defending champions Kilkenny in the All Ireland final on September 6.

Supporters outside the stadium were already pondering where they would turn to for next month's final.

Galway fan Tomas O Cadhain, from the Aran Islands, said that he would not miss it for the world.

"So many days I have walked out of Croke Park feeling utter dejection - so today is a great day for us," he said.

"I turned on my phone after the game and straight away I was getting loads of texts and WhatsApp messages from everyone and anyone, all of them looking for me to get them tickets," he added.

"I'll sort out a few of the more faithful fans first - and then the rest of them will have to wait and see. The only one who will definitely be going is me," he added.

Cathal Spellman, from Loughrea, brought his son Conor (8) to his first game at GAA headquarters and said they'll be back soon.

"Are you selling tickets?" he joked. "We had a great day. Very nervous at the end, but I thought we deserved it. We were the better team the whole way through and it'll be great to see if we can win it now.

"It'll be nice to see another team win. We're not afraid of Kilkenny."

Disappointed Tipperary fans also reflected on the epic encounter.

Mary Hayes, from Thurles, said that she was gutted with the final result but conceded that Galway were good for the win.

"It's heart-breaking for the lads because they played well all year but sure we cannot complain really. We are disappointed. I was shaking at the end but it was great drama," she added.

"It was a super day out and a fantastic match. Great to be a part of it."

Irish Independent

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