Thursday 14 December 2017

Joyce up with 'Master' as Galway's best

Galway great Padraic Joyce in action
Galway great Padraic Joyce in action
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Now that he has played his last game for his club, Killererin, 23 years after first lining out with the seniors as a 15-year-old, it's an appropriate time to raise the question: was Pádraic Joyce Galway's best-ever forward?

It's a debate to enliven winter nights in Galway, where, no doubt, there will be those who claim that it's heresy to even suggest that anyone might be better than 'The Master' - Seán Purcell.

Indeed, there are many who would insist that Purcell wasn't just the best in Galway but the best of all time in the entire country.

The argument is enhanced by his versatility as he was equally outstanding in defence, midfield and attack, whereas Joyce (left) was a specialist forward only.

I'm a Galway native but I didn't see Purcell in his prime as his career ended in the early 1960s.

So I'll leave it to others, who are far better equipped to assess him, to make their judgements on him versus Joyce in the battle for top forward.

As for Joyce, he's definitely the best Galway forward I've seen. Here is my top 12 from the last 50 years . . .

1 Padraic Joyce

2 Ja Fallon

3 Michael Donnellan

4 Michael Meehan

5 John Keenan

6 Mattie McDonagh

7 Seamus Leydon

8 Val Daly

9 Tom Naughon

10 Gay McManus

11 Niall Finnegan

12 Cyril Dunne

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