Galway Advertiser 1981/1981_08_06/GA_06081981_E1_018.pdf
SAM MAGUIRE'S CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDABOUT
M.H. Semi-Final: Galway 3-14; Clare 3-8. (Half-time: Galway 0-7; Clare 1-4). S.H. Semi-Final: Galway 1-8; Limerick 0-11. Attendance 34,783.
Photographs by courtesy Jim and Barbara Connolly, Dublin.
John Connolly and Frank Burke -- Galway needs you both -- NOW
The All-Ireland S.H. semi-final between Limer ick and Galway which was expected to be an epic turned out to be a dour, closely contested and at times mean encounter. I don't know who it was met me in the little cafeteria under the Hogan Stand before the games began but I then predicted that the senior game couldn't be as good as last year's fairy tale final when everything that was good and glorious and sporting and skillful in our greatest and ancient game was in evidence. Repeats in sport often take place but seldom as before. There is too much ballyhoo. My other prediction was that the big c o n f r o n t a t i o n between Niall Mclnerney and Joe McKenna would not be the game's deciding factor. Too much emphasis have been placed on this clash. A repeat of 3 goals from big Joe was not on. frees with consummate ease. But it was big Tony K e a d y at c e n t r e - h a l f forward and his Killimordaly club-mate Eanna Ryan at full-forward who really powered the Galway win. KEADY AND COEN K e a d y is a g r e a t h u r l i n g prospect. I'm loth to praise minors too early but here is a loose hurler of great quality. The manner in which he negatived Clare's last goal with a balancing goal was sheer class c o m b i n e d with confidence. All six forwards scored which is a tribute to the all round ability of the entire team and to their mentors Padhraic Fahy of Carnmore, the trainer, and John Fahy of New Inn, the team manager. So let us not leave out right half-forward Michael McGrath either. But the star of stars for the winners was goalkeeper Tommy Coen of Mullagh. Here is a goalkeeper in the
Replay: Sunday week in Croke Park with same referee, Noel O ' D o n o g h u e ( D u b l i n ) in in charge.
big smile on the face of the burly priest, Fr. McNamara, as he ran on to the field to congratulate the Galway Minors is the most abiding one. Here is a man (a Clareman actually) who has done trojan work for Galway hurling in the great tradition of Galway priests down the years, since the days of the late Canon J. O'Dea. If only he were there to savour this success. Frs. Mattie Walsh, Connie Boyle, Paddy; Gantley, Paddy Lee, Matt O'Connor, Jack Solon, Iggy Clarke. The tradition is maintained. T h e s t r e n g t h of t h e G.A.A. owes a m i g h t y lot to t h e n u m b e r of p r i e s t s d o w n the years, who have given h o u r s -- y e a r s of their life -- to the promotion of Gaelic games. Since I started this column I have never accorded them their due tribute. It is the "with it" thing to "knock" our clergy now. If I have left out names please forgive me. But the joy on Fr. McNamara's face spells it all out. All the hours of labour had not been in vain.
Galway's Michael Conneely foils Eamon Cregan.
The Minors got us off to a great start. The fact that Galway are All Ireland Senior Champions was to be seen in their confident play. T h i s is t h e best m i n o r t e a m I have e v e r seen r e p r e s e n t Galway in t h e minor hurling champ ionship. I was sorry for Clare who were playing in their first ever All Ireland minor hurling semi-final. But* we cannot afford to be over sentimental or gracious. The fact is that Galway have never won a minor hurling crown and this one is not won yet either. I liked the forwards particularly. Wee Pat Burke from Turloughmore in the right corner is very skillful on a ground ball moving towards him while in the other corner Anthony Cunningham improved as the game progressed and was a veritable pain in Clare's side at the end. John Leahy rook bib puiuts fium
Tony Keady gets in a shot at goal. Seanie Duggan mould. Cat like in his reflexes, he really inspired his team and what I liked most about him was his courage to recover from a mistake (it's wrong to label it that for he was under extreme pressure when conceding one goal and might have earned a free). It is a good young lad who can overcome a setback like that so quickly. He was the s t a r of the show. This was a lovely game of all that is best in the game and spoilt us for the senior game. One finds it difficult to leave the minor game to write about the senior semi-final. Credit too to team-captain Ger Fallon at centre-half back. This lanky lad is a real terrier and Joe Grealish at right half back pulls hard in the best Castlegar fashion. It is difficult not to mention them one and all. Their's was a magnificent victory and the future of Galway hurling looks bright. I have many bright memories of this minor triumph but the Berni? Forftls run for goal is halted by Pat Herbert.
Much has been written of the senior game at this stage. The injury to P. J. Mol)oy, which required the insertion of 13 stitches and the consequent sending off of Sean Foley. This had an early upsetting effect on the game. Credit must be given to referee Noel O'Donoghue, as always a very commanding figure, for having the courage to take this decision. Joe Connolly missed the resultant free and this didn't help either. It took Galway too long to score. When Bernie Forde was getting points from all angles a year ago, he was having near misses now. But then he was given much more scope and room to manoeuvre. Now it was very
close man to man stuff. Noel Lane too had an untypical "fresh air" when a goal was on. At times it looked as if Limerick had the extra man. Galway had 13 wides in all in the first half. It was dour stuff. Sean Silke, usually so s t r o n g , was s t r a n g e l y subdued at times. Everytime the big two were on the ball there was a hush of expectancy. Big Joe and Big Niall didn't take each other easy. It was a bit overtough between them at times and Niall got away with a few shoulder pushes. If only we had John Connolly to point thse frees or 70's? Or even John Leahy, the minor. And then a vintage Noel Lane run at last set up Brendan Lynskey for the only goal of the game. There was a strange mood prevalent at half-time. Would Galway make use of the extra man and win against the wind? SYLVIE LINNANE The second half was even more agonising. Limerick looked the sharper team. Oily O'Connor was in devastating form. What a great little hurler and such a great sport. Limerick backs were inspired. Galway's Crown was tottering. But it was now when the All Ireland was really at stake that the Champions tag held good. Now Galway played cool instead of being over anxious as in the past. No one was better than that little bombshell from Gort, Sylvie Linnane. This was his finest game for Galway. He saved the day and using all his great skill kept coming forward and showed the scoring way to the forwards with a capital point. The Gortman has often been criticised for his over-impetuosity in the past and rightly so. And by myself too. But on Sunday he was the victim of a rotten piece of thuggery. Quite accidentally his hurley caught one of his Limerick opponents near the sideline under the Cusack Stand in the first half. Immediately he went over to apologise to his fallen Limerick o p p o n e n t , Fr. Willie Fitzmaurice, in fact. It was a sporting thing to do. It would have been much easier to walk away as h a p p e n s so o f t e n in professional sport. But a Limerick official assaulted him bowling him over. This can be seen on Video and the G.A.A. would be unwise not to act on this available evidence of skullduggery. As I said Linnane was Galway's star of stars and if I must single out another Galwayman it has to be Seamus Coen, who literally put Eamonn Cregan in; his pocket. If only Michael