Michéal Donoghue lauds All-Ireland champions Galway for bouncing back after being 'lacerated' for previous defeats
Galway manager Michéal Donoghue has praised his charges for bouncing back from heartbreak after heartbreak to deliver a first All-Ireland title in 29 years.
The Tribesmen made a whirlwind start but goals from Kevin Moran and Kieran Bennett kept the Déise in it and their lead was only a point at the break.
The game was in the melting pot throughout the second half but impact subs Niall Burke and Jason Flynn gave the winner's the edge and condemned Waterford to another September defeat.
An emotional Donoghue, who took over after a player heave saw Anthony Cunningham lose the Galway reins, found it hard to contain his joy at the final whistle.
"This is what dreams are made of. We came in at the start two years ago and we knew we were dealing with a savage team," he said.
"You just want the boys to come in and take ownership and all the credit has to go to the players. They have been fantastic.
"I'm the fella that's privileged in this position but to all the managers that have gone before me, they have nurtured these players and develop them.
"To all those players that have gone through and worn that jersey, this is for them."
After losing the 2012 All-Ireland final after a replay and the 2015 decider after leading by four points at half-time, Galway have taken a lot of flak.
"We just said enough is enough, the last couple of years have been really hard and these boys have been kicked every time they've lost," he added.
"After 2012 and 2015, above any team they have been lacerated but no one mentioned the resilience these boys have and the character they have. They kept bouncing back.
"They knew today they were going to do it today."
The family of the late Galway legend Tony Keady were with Donoghue on the pitch after the game.
"We had the honour and privilege of bringing them into training last week. Their strength and and total resilience to push one.. it was an absolute pleasure to have them here today with us."