Thursday 26 April 2018

John Mullane: Galway minor stars must push on if seniors are to make breakthrough

Winning minor captain Sean Loftus
Winning minor captain Sean Loftus

John Mullane

I tipped Galway to win the All-Ireland minor title and the young Tribesmen delivered.

It must be very difficult for some of these Tipperary players to carry dual commitments throughout the summer. Maybe it caught up with some of them yesterday.

Captain Seán Loftus led by example for Galway in the sweeper role.

It's not an easy position to perfect but Loftus did brilliantly.

Overall, Galway's work ethic was exceptional.

Jack Coyne was very good at midfield, Evan Niland showed throughout at full-forward and corner-back Shane Bannon was outstanding.

Goalkeeper Darragh Gilligan pulled off a couple of crucial saves and Galway used their bench very well again, as manager Jeff Lynskey has done right through the championship.

Michael Lynch and Liam Forde came on - and both scored goals. You can't ask for more than that.

For Tipperary, Brian McGrath had a decent game at centre-back but I thought Lyndon Fairbrother was unfortunate to be taken off.

Overall, it was a minor championship without a really outstanding team, and this final was there for both sides at half-time.

The sight of Galway fans streaming into the ground and the noise they generated was a boost to their minors, and contributed to them getting over the line.

It's something Tipp will have to deal with again on football final Sunday, as they face Kerry in the minor decider.

There are players on that Galway team yesterday who I can definitely see stepping up to the mark - but we've been here before with Galway winning minor titles and not pushing on make an impact at senior level.

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