Supersubs help Galway defy odds
All-Ireland MHC Final: Galway 4-13 Tipperary 1-16
Not bad from a team rated by one Galway official that Jeffrey Lynskey spoke to last year as one of the worst minor crops ever to emerge from the county.
The Irish Press Cup was annexed for a tenth time yesterday as Galway, in contrast to their seniors, produced a power-packed second-half display to see off Tipperary at Croke Park.
The sides were level at half-time but Galway won pulling up as they bagged three second-half goals, two of them scored by substitutes.
Ultimately, Galway's first All-Ireland in this grade since 2011 was achieved with six points to spare but manager Lynskey suspected that Tipp fatigue may have played a part.
Tipp went into battle with eight dual stars in their ranks, players who will look to regroup for a football decider with Kerry on September 20.
They were hugely competitive in a first half that was level seven times but Galway sub Liam Forde scored a killer goal in the 38th minute and the Tribesmen kicked on from there.
It was Forde's first touch after coming on, and Cinian Fahy struck three minutes later as the floodgates opened.
In stoppage-time, another sub, Michael Lynch, added a fourth and Galway were home, having survived the concession of a soft goal when Tommy Nolan's long-range groundstroke squirted to the net.
Evan Niland top scored with 0-9, including eight frees, but Galway had other fine displays.
Shane Bannon was superb at corner-back and Jack Coyne drove Galway forward from midfield, his influence great enough to force Tipp manager Liam Cahill into a switch with just 21 minutes on the watch.
Galway had their fortunate moments, however, as their first goal came from a James Quigley error, punished by Brian Concannon.
They also had goalkeeper Darragh Gilligan to thank for an eye-catching full-length save that diverted Garry Ryan's shot out for a '65'.
There was no disputing the end result, however.
Lynskey smiled: "When I did the interview, I can't name him now, he said it's probably one of the worst teams - ever. That's coming from an official.
"When you're working in a teaching environment, you have to have a thick neck and you're used to people giving you comments all the time.
"I was listening to Sylvie (Linnane) on Up for the Match last night and he said you're not a good manager until you win an All-Ireland. That struck a chord with me."
Tipp counterpart Liam Cahill reflected: "We looked in the game to the 40th minute and then we were hit with two sucker goals."
Massive credit is also due to referee Paud O'Dwyer, whose mother passed away on Saturday. O'Dwyer managed to somehow put his grief to one side for the hour and officiated expertly.
Scorers - Galway: E Niland 0-9 (8fs), B Concannon, C Fahy, M Lynch, L Forde 1-0 each, J Coyne 0-2, T Monaghan, S Loftus 0-1 each. Tipperary: L Fairbrother 0-6 (5fs), T Nolan 1-2, B McGrath (1f, 1 '65'), C Darcy (2fs), S Quirke (1 sl) 0-2 each, D Peters ('65'), M Connors 0-1 each.
GALWAY - D Gilligan; C Connor, J Fitzpatrick, S Bannon; C Mulry, I O'Brien, A Greaney; J Coyne, J Grealish; B Concannon, E Niland, S Loftus; C Fahy, T Monaghan, F Burke. Subs: L Forde for Burke (37), C McDaid for O'Brien (55), C Salmon for Fahy (55), M Lynch for Concannon (59), R Malone for Greaney (60+2).
TIPPERARY - P Hayes; E Heffernan, E Moloney, J Quigley; K Hassett, B McGrath, D Peters; S Quirke, L McCutcheon; C Darcy, G Ryan, A Tynan; T Nolan, D Gleeson, L Fairbrother. Subs: R Mulrooney for McCutcheon (21), J Skehan for Ryan (42), M Connors for Fairbrother (45), S Neville for Gleeson (55).
Ref - P O'Dwyer (Carlow)