Liam Mellows end 47-year county title wait with deserved win over Gort

Liam Mellows' Jack Hastings and Gort’s Kaelan Higgins tussling for possession during Sunday's Galway senior hurling final at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Enda Noone.
Liam Mellows' Jack Hastings and Gort’s Kaelan Higgins tussling for possession during Sunday's Galway senior hurling final at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Enda Noone.

WHEN the stars align they often do so in striking fashion.

It had been 47 years since Liam Mellows won their last county senior hurling championship. That was, until the 47th minute of last Sunday’s enthralling county decider, when Conor Kavanagh pounced for the City outfit’s third goal to all but claim the club’s ninth SHC crown.

A mere coincidence it could be – Liam Mellows’ providence may or may not have been written in the stars or the number 47! – but the universe does often produce and revel in these little quirks of fate. Sunday was one of those occasions when it duly smiled and all in Liam Mellows smiled with it.

“It is really hard at this stage to describe the feeling – I am just trying to take it all in – but it has been a phenomenal day,” said Liam Mellows joint captain Aonghus Callanan, the opening goalscorer in their famous 3-12 to 1-15 county final win over favourites Gort.

“To see all the people, [we] just have been so long waiting to get to this stage and it has just been amazing and fantastic that we showed up on the day and performed in our (the players) first senior final. It is just dreamland at the moment.”

In recent years, Liam Mellows would, more often than not, be viewed as one of the ‘dark horses’ in the race for senior hurling championship glory but on Sunday they delivered a thoroughbred performance punctuated perfectly with three quality goals.

Those majors came from the sticks of Callanan, Tadgh Haran and Kavanagh. With each strike, the coffin was jimmied a little lower on their opponent’s title aspirations – the third goal from Kavanagh just after the three-quarter mark all but filling in the grave.

As regards displays, it was impressive, particularly in the pressurised setting of a county final, but Callanan believed it had been building for some time. “We were disappointed with ourselves in the quarter-final and the semi-final. We didn’t feel like we were doing ourselves justice,” continued the former Galway sharpshooter.

“However, today, it was great to get into town, into Pearse Stadium, in front of our own people here and really open up. We probably should have won by more in the finish but Gort are a good team and they came back in the finish. Listen, it is just a phenomenal day.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.