THIS will haunt Galway – an admittedly strange take on their team’s performance which never looked like delivering a second All-Ireland senior hurling triumph on the trot at Croke Park on Sunday.
The concession of three goals to Limerick from turnovers, some appalling marksmanship – reflected in a match total of 16 wides – and with over half of the Galway team well below their best, it almost defies logic that they came within a point of the new champions.
The Tribesmen would surely love to play this All-Ireland final again, but sport doesn’t bequeath such luxuries, leaving Micheál Donoghue’s charges with a mountain of regret at producing their worst display of the championship on the biggest day of all.
The reality is that Galway did so much wrong and, yet, had a suddenly spooked Limerick hanging on for dear life in an extended and breathless period of injury time. Virtually without warning, the men in maroon caught fire in an extraordinary finale which a few of their supporters missed.
And it was hard to blame them for rushing to the exits after substitute Shane Dowling’s goal in the 68th minute left the ravenous challengers eight points clear and seemingly out the gap. The match was over – or so everyone thought.
But in a hurling season littered with sensational comebacks and high drama, we should have anticipated another twist in the tale. Somehow, Galway found the reserves of energy and spirit to take the final to the wire, leaving Joe Canning with an outside chance of forcing a replay in the 79th minute.
It was odds against his free from deep inside the Galway half going over, but the ball could have ended up anywhere when Canning’s long-range delivery dropped short into the opposition danger zone. Time was almost suspended until reserve Tom Condon emerged from a cluster of bodies in the final act of an epic hurling championship.
Even the most blinkered Galway supporter couldn’t begrudge the Treaty men ending their 45-year long famine on the run of play alone. This was a game unlike none other of a marathon campaign for the title holders. This time there was no early blitz; this time they were the ones playing catch up; this time they lost.
Even that scenario must feel strange to a group of players who were defending a terrific 13-match unbeaten championship run, but fatigue may have caught up with them on Sunday. Most of the Galway players were laboured and they just couldn’t match the overall intensity and energy of Limerick.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie