LADS, we could get used to this!
And judging by the manner in which Galway ended a 29-year famine – and the way the minors sealed an historic All-Ireland double at Croke Park last Sunday – we just might have to get used to it. How bad!
Galway, All-Ireland senior hurling champions 2017: it just doesn’t get any better than this. And yet, now they’ve broken the hoodoo of six All-Ireland decider defeats, and one draw, since 1988, and much semi-final heartache and near misses in between, maybe the best is yet to come.
If Galway lost, we feared the worst, that they might never recover; how could they, after preparing so meticulously and sacrificing everything this season to reach the summit of hurling’s Mount Everest?
Now that they have finally achieved, the pressure is off, and we must hope that the Tribesmen can go on and dominate in the coming years . . . they certainly have the talent.
But that’s for another day. Living in the now is all about savouring this remarkable and rare accomplishment; thanking God we’re alive to witness the resurrection of the maroon and white again.
Though the county is touted nearly every year as possible contenders, remarkably this is only the fifth occasion Galway savoured senior success since the foundation of the GAA. We can now include 2017 to Galway’s glorious years of 1923, 1980, 1987 and 1988.
On Sunday, September 3, David Burke joined the ranks of an exclusive club of warriors who led Galway to battle on Croke Park’s field of dreams and lifted Liam McCarthy Cup on behalf of an entire county and city – Mick Kenny, Joe Connolly, and Conor Hayes.
And what a captain Burke is. Undeterred by a middling semi-final showing against Tipperary, the St Thomas’ clubman hurled out of his skin on hurling’s biggest occasion. When it mattered most, the 27-year-old propelled Galway forward, with a man-of-the-match performance that will be talked about for decades to come. Burke was born to lead; born to succeed.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.