Delight in Galway as Leinster title goes beyond Pale
IT WAS the win they weren't expecting -- but the delayed reaction to a historic Leinster Final victory by Galway over Kilkenny in Croke Park yesterday is expected to spark celebrations today.
And while stunned fans of the Tribesmen celebrated in Dublin, in their home city and county things were a little more sedate.
The streets of Galway city were quiet as the city recovered from a week of partying at the Volvo Ocean Race. Even this epic win against the mighty Kilkenny wasn't enough to keep the crowds going last night.
Hurling fans flocked to the pubs to watch the match yesterday afternoon but it was a case of early in and early to bed.
In Dublin, it was another matter entirely as the Galway fans celebrated their famous victory in some style. Groups of supporters made the most of the historic coup and were preparing to follow the Bob O'Keeffe Cup (Leinster hurling trophy) back home to Galway today.
"We were packed for the match but everyone had headed home by about 7pm. There will be big celebrations when the team returns," said a barman at Hughes Pub in Woodquay in Galway.
One extremely happy fan was Terry Dolan, from Moycullen. He collected €120 after placing a €20 bet on his side at odds that didn't seem to believe a win was even a possibility.
"The odds were 5/1, so I put on a bet. It's a nice little win and it will get me a few celebratory drinks to toast them," he said.
"The thing is not to get carried away, we've a lot to do yet. It was great to beat Kilkenny but we've a long way to go yet. Too many times have Galway got beaten in the semis," he added.
The win will see the Leinster trophy make its way west of the Shannon for the first time in history.
Frank Conway, of Portumna, said that east Galway would give the team a reception they would never forget. "East Galway will go wild at this, they will be getting a big reception in Portumna," he said.
The hurling fan added that taking the cup to Galway for the first time was all the sweeter.
"This is history to be bringing the Leinster title across to Connacht.
"Taking the cup across the Shannon will be tough for them (Leinster people) to take," he added.