One Gleeson in, the other out as Galway and Waterford gear up for big day

Galway's Johnny Coen getting the better of Waterford's Kevin Moran during the National League quarter-final at Pearse Stadium last April.
Galway's Johnny Coen getting the better of Waterford's Kevin Moran during the National League quarter-final at Pearse Stadium last April.

ALL-Ireland senior hurling final fever is underway with Galway and Waterford both holding their press conferences in the last 10 days. And the backdrop to each media briefing couldn’t be different.

For Galway, the sad passing of Tony Keady was never too far from the hearts and minds of players and mentors alike. Among those to, once again, join the chorus of tributes was senior manager Micheal Donoghue who highlighted the void left by the father-of-four was reflected in the “outpouring of emotion”.

“It put a lot of things into perspective and our immediate thoughts go to Margaret (wife) and (children) Shannon, Anthony, Jake and Harry. Tony, first and foremost, was a husband and father, and, of course, everyone will remember him for his hurling and the way he carried himself and the way he played with Galway.

“From our perspective, we extend our condolences to the family. I think the greatest thing we can do now is push on and try to wear that jersey with the honour he did,” declares the Galway boss.

As for Waterford, they have been grappling this past week with an appeals process surrounding the sending off of midfielder Conor Gleeson in their All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork, along with contemplating the potential sanctions that might arise if Austin Gleeson was cited for interfering with an opponent’s helmet in the same game.

Although 2016 ‘Senior Hurler of the Year’ Austin Gleeson – he also won the Young Hurler of the Year gong – has since been cleared of any wrong-doing, Conor Gleeson’s appeal against his red card was rejected by the Central Hearing Committee (CHC) last Monday night.

Deise boss Derek McGrath immediately moved to draw a line under the matter by announcing at Tuesday’s morning press conference ahead of the All-Ireland final that Waterford would not be pursuing the issue any further as they wished to wholly focus on their preparations for the September 3rd showpiece.

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