Hurlers show intent as they hammer Tipp to claim title

Galway's man of the match Jason Flynn produced two goals in the Allianz Hurling League final against Tipperary at The Gaelic Grounds, Limerick on Sunday.			Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway's man of the match Jason Flynn produced two goals in the Allianz Hurling League final against Tipperary at The Gaelic Grounds, Limerick on Sunday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

The Galway hurlers showed some genuinely exciting form, real intent and championship promise in a totally dominant 3-21 to 0-14 victory over current All-Ireland champions Tipperary last Sunday in the Allianz league final at the Gaelic grounds in Limerick.

More than 16,000 supporters witnessed Galway annex a 10th league title and a first since 2010, and the maroon followers were treated to an impressive performance from Micheal Donoghue's charges who were well up for the fray and really rattled into Tipp from the start.

To demonstrate their dominance, this 16-point victory was the most emphatic win in a hurling league final for 38 years.

With livewire Conor Whelan in sizzling form in the full-forward line, and Joe Canning showing some gorgeous touches at centre-forward, Galway led by six points at half-time. It could have been more but for some erratic shooting that saw them hit 11 wides in the opening period.

Now Galway can have a right cut off the Leinster and All-Ireland championships in the coming months, but they will need to be more ruthless and efficient in front of goals when they are dominating the opposition.

Man-of-the-match Jason Flynn hit an early goal in the second half, and from then on Tipp looked like they had resigned themselves to losing. The wry smile on Michael Ryan's face at the full-time whistle was that of a man with plenty of ammunition for his players ahead of the start of the Munster championship.

More goals from Flynn and Cathal Mannion put the icing on Galway's win and the victorious team management even had the luxury of replacing top performers Joe Canning and Daithí Burke in the final 10 minutes, such was the team's absolute dominance.

Defence impressed

The entire team worked hard, bringing an intensity and and physicality to proceedings.

It was tremendous to see the defence really frustrate a highly-rated Tipp forward line, which was without talisman Seamus Callanan.

It was super to see Gearoid McInerney so strong, powerful and dominant at centre-back, and one of his high catches from among a group of players really got the crowd going.

All-Star full-back Daithí Burke seems to be getting back to his best too, while Adrian Tuohy also caught the eye at corner back.

Wing back Aidan Harte tore into the game and looks to be really enjoying his hurling. His first point, which was taken with aplomb, really laid down a marker for the game ahead.

Team captain David Burke and Johnny Coen are in a nice groove at midfield too, and their mobility, stamina and stickwork marks them as a dynamic and exciting duo heading into championship 2017.

Burke was pleased with the team's display last weekend, but also that Galway are shwoing greater consistency in their performances.

"We have turned the corner. We are consistent and have been for the last two or three years," he says. "We are not up and down any more. We were beaten by better teams. We have no complaint.

"Tipp were the better team last summer and they showed that in the All-Ireland final. Whether we won by eight points or lost by eight points today, what was important is that we brought the work-rate and physicality to the game and know that we could still play against the best."

Next up Dublin

Next up for the hurlers will be the Leinster championship, and Galway will face Dublin on Sunday May 28 in O'Connor Park in Tullamore.

Before then, the players return to their clubs for a few championship games and the change of scene will do them no harm at all.

The annoying defeat to Wexford aside, the league has been a big success for the squad and the management team, and there has been a marked improved over the past few games against Waterford, Limerick, and Tipp last Sunday.

Yes, it is only April, but the portents are positive for the championship.

What more could one ask for?

Galway: C Callanan, A Tuohy, Daithí Burke, P Killeen, P Mannion, G McInerney, A Harte, D Burke (Cpt ), J Coen, C Mannion, J Canning, J Cooney, J Flynn, N Burke, C Whelan.

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