Galway hurlers savour Croker success after all

Galway trio in Leitrim triumph….Michael Coleman, Declan Molloy and team manager Martin Cunniffe. Photo courtesy of Willie Donnellan/Leitrim Observer.

The Galway hurlers may be out of the All-Ireland series – but that doesn’t mean that the county hasn’t tasted Croke Park success already this summer.

Because when Connacht neighbours Leitrim and Sligo won their respective Lory Meagher and Nicky Rackard Cups at the weekend, it was Galway natives playing key roles for both teams.

Leitrim manager Martin Cunniffe is a native of Gurteen near Abbeyknockmoy – and he tapped into his native place to bring on board a man who was no stranger to All-Ireland success; Michael Coleman was a vital part of the Galway side that brought home the Liam McCarthy in 1988.

Completing the Holy Trinity, Leitrim’s captain and goalkeeper was none other than Declan Molloy. The Tipp native has long been domiciled in Galway and indeed helped Abbeyknockmoy win the 2015 intermediate county championship before they reached the All-Ireland final against Bennettsbridge of Kilkenny.

The Galway contribution to Connacht success last Saturday wasn’t limited to Leitrim either; Killimor’s Colum O’Meara was a key member of the management team that helped the Sligo hurlers to win the Nicky Rackard Cup.

“It is an absolutely unbelievable achievement. For the so called weaker counties it is colossal. We have a young squad but everything I threw at them they wanted to learn,” he said.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.