So will the Ger Loughnane era conclude without silverware or even a scalp? Deliberation surrounded Tuesday night's Hurling Board meeting, but the topic hasn't been completely resolved. Loughnane is expected to meet with officials soon for a crucial discussion where future intentions will be revealed.
Galway prepared rigorously for combat, but delivering in high summer remains a troublesome issue. Three Championship defeats to Clare, Kilkenny, and Cork in Loughnane’s two season tenure has cut Galway to the bone.
Recapturing the All Ireland was Loughnane's daring target, but the search for Liam McCarthy lingers on. Loughnane's post match assessment in Thurles was typically frank. "I don't regret making that comment whatsoever. It is a failure, there is no other way of saying it. I went up to Galway for two years, I said I'd give it two years to win an All Ireland and we didn't even win a quarter final, we didn't even get to a semi-final, we got nowhere in two years. It was a complete and utter collapse when you think of the amount of training we've done, the quality of training we've done. It's absolutely disillusioning when you produce a display like we produced in the last 25 minutes, when the game was really there to be won or lost.
"I'm completely disillusioned, totally and utterly. I've had disappointments before with teams, but that was inexplicable when you see how we were playing in training and the quality of hurling."
It was the raucous rebels who demonstrated commendable character under pressure. Donal Og Cusack's dismissal and the difficulties being encountered with the metronomic Joe Canning were still overcome. "All their big men came up trumps when they were really needed, and that's what champions do. Unfortunately only one of our big men did, and he gave a fantastic display at full forward, but too many other of our players just didn't perform on the day.
"It could have been 22 points, at least 12 points was the real difference between the two teams. Only that we had Joe Canning we'd have been beaten off the field." Canning’s craft was the sole crumb of maroon comfort in Semple Stadium as another distressing campaign concluded.