Sunday 18 February 2018

Galway and Waterford player ratings - David Burke the sole 9/10 performer

David Burke of Galway lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
David Burke of Galway lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

The 38 players involved in yesterday's All-Ireland final treated us to an absorbing epic. Here's how they rated.


Colm Callanan

Beaten on his near post for the first goal and would have been expected to be much more assertive for the mix-up that led to Waterford’s second goal. 6

Adrian Tuohey

First opponent Shane Bennett was forced off, he switched on to Jake Dillon and gave little away. However, he coughed up a few frees that Waterford converted. 7

Daithí Burke

Another solid display. Was defiant when Waterford went long when trying to manufacture a goal chance. His emergence as a full-back has solved a big problem for Galway. 7

John Hanbury

Was sent to track Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh early in the game and struggled with him early on as he set up the first goal, but eventually got to grips with the experienced Waterford star. 7

Pádraic Mannion

Not as influential as he has been in the past but Mannion kept at it when chasing an in-form Pauric Mahony. Has had an excellent season in a strong line in the Galway team. 7

Gearóid McInerney

A powerful performance at centre-back. Tracked Austin Gleeson and did well to force him to the edge of the game. Not far off David Burke as Galway’s best performer. 8

Aidan Harte

Operated as Galway’s extra man in defence and save for being sucked up-field for Waterford’s opening goal, he offered a security blanket to the Tribesmen. 8

Johnny Coen

Burke will capture most of the plaudits for his four points but the work Glynn did opened the door for him to get forward. Quietly efficient in everything he does, he also managed a point. 7

David Burke

A captain’s performance. When Galway were struggling a little after half-time it was Burke who stood up most. Shot 0-4 from play as part of a brilliant, all-round performance. 9

Joseph Cooney

Like the rest of the Galway forwards, Cooney started well but he wasn’t as influential as the game wore on. Another who has enjoyed a good summer with Galway. 7

Joe Canning

Finally gets his hands on an All-Ireland medal. Stepped up with ten points, including three from play and a sideline cut. There can be no arguing he played his part on the big day. 8

Jonathan Glynn

Picking Glynn from the start represented something of a risk seeing as how little hurling he has played this summer and it didn’t really work here. 6

Conor Whelan

One of Galway’s best players this summer, Whelan struggled to escape the attentions of Noel Connors for much of the afternoon. Still managed a first-half point. 6

Conor Cooney

Has been more spectacular this summer as he drifted in and out of the game but made some brilliant contributions, not least with a memorable second-half point. 7

Cathal Mannion

Another who was brilliant early on. Mannion has been quiet at times this summer but Waterford couldn’t live with him in the first half. 7


Niall Burke made a huge catch to win a vital free late on for Glynn (42) and hit two points; J Flynn hit two points for Mannion (54); S Moloney for David Burke (68). 8

Micheál Donoghue

Managed his team brilliantly all year and got a vital contribution from his bench as Galway ended a 29-year wait for Liam MacCarthy. 8


Stephen O’Keeffe

O’Keeffe can point to the fact that he kept a clean sheet and had a solid day from puck-outs, with Waterford winning 65pc of their own restarts. Didn’t have a save to make. 7

Shane Fives

Started the afternoon picking up Conor Cooney who finished the day with three points from play. Did little wrong but gave away a few frees over the course of 70-plus minutes. 7

Barry Coughlan

Was tasked with dealing with the monstrous Jonathan Glynn and did well to limit his influence, with the Galway man eventually withdrawn. Made a few vital clearances. 7

Noel Connors

Physically Connors looked the ideal fit to go on the in-form Conor Whelan and he did an excellent job of keeping tabs on him, restricting him to just a point in a fine defensive display. 8

Tadhg de Búrca

Hoovered up a mountain of ball in his role as sweeper and generally used it well. Didn’t miss a beat despite being suspended for the All-Ireland semi-final. 8

Austin Gleeson

Waterford were always going to need a big outing from Gleeson to get over the line but he found the going tough with Gearóid McInerney never too far away. 6

Philip Mahony

Another who did little wrong against a very slick Galway forward unit. Kept working in a hectic middle third but couldn’t get forward as much as he would have liked. 6

Jamie Barron

His manager revealed that Barron had been ill in the build-up to the final but that didn’t show. Chipped in with two points but was involved in so much more. In Hurler of the Year conversation. 8

Kieran Bennett

A solid shift considering this was only his second start in the championship. Got a bit of luck for his goal and kept toiling away in a very busy middle third. 6

Kevin Moran

Moran roared into life early on as he delivered a quick fire 1-1 when his side were shipping water. Influence waned as the game wore on and missed a good chance to put his side two up. 7

Pauric Mahony

A couple of late frees drifted wide when he might have been trying to drop it in on square to generate a goal chance, but hit 11 points with three coming from play. 7

Jake Dillon

Another honest shift from Dillon but struggled to make an impact and like the semi-final he was withdrawn early in the second half for Brian O’Halloran. 6

Shane Bennett

An injury sustained early in the game limited the influence he could have but did make a nuisance of himself in the build-up to Waterford’s second goal. 6

Michael Walsh

Gave the pass that set Moran away for his early goal and chipped in with a point but was withdrawn in the second half. A brilliant servant to Waterford, this might have been his last act. 6

Darragh Fives

Was sent to the half-back line to keep tabs on Joseph Cooney and had his moments in that battle but wasn’t afforded much chance to join the attack. 7


Maurice Shanahan (right) 6 was introduced earlier than might have been expected for Shane Bennett (22); Brian O’Halloran 7 landed a point for Dillon (48); Tommy Ryan hit fine score on the run for Walsh (55); Colin Dunford for Barron (64); Patrick Curran came on for Kieran Bennett (64). 7

Derek McGrath

Injury to Shane Bennett meant he had to deploy Shanahan earlier than usual but still got an impact from his bench via O’Halloran and Ryan. 7

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