Failings, naivety and enjoyment - the key to Galway's success

Shane Morgan of Galway, left, and Se?n O'Hanlon of Galway celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by E?in Noonan/Sportsfile

Shane Morgan of Galway, left, and Se?n O'Hanlon of Galway celebrate after the Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Final match between Kilkenny and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by E?in Noonan/Sportsfile

Galway claimed their 13th All Ireland minor title in impressive style on Sunday, dispatching the challenge of Kilkenny with ease. In doing do they also bagged their third title to join Cork, Tipperary and Kilkenny as the only counties to win three titles in succession at this level.

Manager Brian Hanley, understandably proud of his players, says everything came right for them on the day.

"Very proud of themn a very honest bunch. We encourage our failings, naivety and enjoyment, all the things you should do at 16 and 17 years of age, and I think that just came right for us today.

"It is a honour to play against Kilkenny in an All Ireland final. It is a pathway now for these lads to go on to play senior hurling, and I hope in five years' time we see them playing senior hurling for Galway - that's the real big thing for me now."

Sean McDonagh won the Man of the Match for his outstanding performance that saw him finish with 2-8 and pick up his second medal at the grade, having been part of last year's team, while Greg Thomas also was influential in what was a real team effort.

"I thought our half-back line sniffed out everything there today, and the full back line great. I don't think Michael in goal had a shot to save. I think everyone collectively did their bit, and the subs who came on added to it."

Galway easily dispatched the young Cats, but Hanley was keen to focus on his own's side's performance rather than Kilkenny's challenge.

"I expected more from Galway and we got it. I didn't look at Kilkenny and nor should we look at Kilkenny. We need to look at ourselves, and we controlled ourselves very well. We look at ourselves and we are our own worst critics.

"Going forward, it is all about Galway, and if we were beaten by Kilkenny, it would have been hats off, but it wouldn't have been the end of the world. We'd be the same players coming up the road as going down the road if we won or not, and the big thing is today wasn't a final, for them it is a beginning. They now go on to their studies next year, hopefully win at colleges' hurling, and then go own and represent Galway at U20 and senior level, and we'll celebrate rightly."

Hanley was particularly pleased with Galway's work rate.

"We genuinely did have a good set of backs and that was borne out. Ian McGlynn is a massive leader, Christy Brennan, Adam Nolan, Eoin Lawless - it's not right to be calling out lads - John Cooney, Enda Collins, and Michael in goal, and our forward players. They ran at us once or twice and got one or two scores, but that's Ok. I don't think they got a goal chance and that is what we set out out to do, and when you don't concede goals, you'll have a great chance of winning games."

 

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