Talented Tuam minors end 40-year county title famine

Tuam Stars 0-11

Claregalway 0-8

By Gerard Mulreaney at Tuam Stadium

FIVE points from Rory Igoe, along with four from Conor Noone, helped Tuam Stars to end a 40-year wait for a Minor A County title after a hard-fought three-point victory over Claregalway at Tuam Stadium on Saturday.

In a dramatic finish, Claregalway threw everything at Tuam, but their superb defence held out to send their supporters home happy. When they last won the title in 1983, they defeated Mervue by 0-10 to 1-5 in the final. That was their fifth title in six years. Who would have thought back then that they’d have to wait so long for their next one.

The victorious Tuam Stars manager Donal Marley said: “It was a very hard-fought victory. Tuam’s first time in 40 years winning this. We expected nothing else from Claregalway to come strong at the end. Our lads in fairness were excellent in the first half.

“They did really well, maybe could have got a few more scores at the beginning of the second half, but fair play to Claregalway – they came back, and came back strong. We held out there, just about at the end, but we’re delighted with that.”

It was a chilly afternoon that greeted the teams in Tuam Stadium as these sides went head-to-head for the third time this year. Coming into the game each side had won a game apiece – Claregalway winning in the round-robin, while Tuam Stars took the victory in their North Board final.

Claregalway, beaten finalists in 2022, were hoping to reclaim the title they last won in 2021 when they defeated Corofin 2-12 to 2-09. This was their seventh Minor A final in the last eight years – having also won it in 2017.

This was very much a game of two halves, as Tuam Stars dominated the opening half, only for Claregalway to come storming back in the second, which has become a feature of their play all year.

Pictured: Jack Cryan of Tuam Stars’ on the charge against Claregalway’s Dara Kavanagh during Saturday’s County Minor A Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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