The Galway minor hurlers produced a very impressive and gutsy display last Sunday in the All-Ireland semi-final to see off the Limerick minors in a cliff-hanger, at Croke Park. After extra-time, the score-board read 0-23 to 0-20.
Since then, Galway’s display and the result has been overshadowed by the decision of the Limerick county board to appeal the result due to a serious error by Hawkeye early in the game. A legitimate Limerick point was adjudged to be a “miss” by Hawkeye, and Limerick feel that they are entitled to a replay as a result of that mistake, as the game finished 0-16 apiece after normal time.
Galway have no intention of offering a replay to the Munster champions and as team manager Mattie Murphy pointed out; "You have to roll with the punches."
Galway county secretary John Hynes is also planning for an All-Ireland final meeting with Waterford.
"While we empathise with Limerick as regards what happened, we are not party to their appeal. They are entitled to go through due process. However, it was not a problem of Galway’s making and we have a panel of players who won a match and are preparing for an All-Ireland final. The bottom line is that our minor team won a game by three points, after extra-time, and as far as Galway is concerned, we, as a county committee, are supporting the team in preparing for the final on September 8."
Hurling Board chairman Joe Byrne echoed those sentiments in the press during the week; “Until we hear from Croke Park, and we mightn't hear from them at all, we won't be doing anything."
Meanwhile down the road, Limerick minor manager Brian Ryan and his Limerick players were due to return to training last night (Wednesday ) in the hope that their appeal against Sunday's result will be successful.
There were no new developments at the time of going to print, however, it seems that Limerick are considering appealing the whole way up to the DRA if necessary.
As regards the game itself, Galway had some very fine displays from the likes of sharpshooter Brian Molloy, Conor Whelan and Adrian Morrisey up front.
At the back, the full-back line of Michael Conneely, Darragh O’ Donoghue and Maidhc Ó Conghaile all did well. While Shane Cooney at centre-back hurled a lot of ball and made a few vital interceptions and had a very fine game.
Mattie Murphy also ran his bench very well and Jack Hastings did a lot of good work on his introduction, as did Eamon Brannigan.
It was also very impressive to see Ronan O’ Meara hit a crucial point towards the end of extra-time after coming back on in extra-time, after being subbed off earlier. That kind of work-rate and self-belief was critical in seeing off a very determined Limerick challenge.
It was a really tight game until Galway snuck away in the second period of extra time.
The sides were level on 15 occasions during the course of the game and it is probably the closeness of the contest that has driven Limerick down the appeal road.
Galway were stronger in extra-time.
They kicked on in the second period of extra-time with high quality scores from Conor Whelan, Ronan O'Meara and Eanna Burke ensuring victory.
As things stand, Galway will face Waterford in the All-Ireland final, with the Munster outfit appearing in their first All-Ireland final since 1992 and Mattie Murphy aiming for his seventh success as the county minor manager.
Scorers for Galway: B Molloy (4f, 2 65' ) 0-9; C Whelan 0-4; A Morrissey 0-3, B Burke 0-2, C Shaughnessy, D Dolan, E Brannigan, R O'Meara, E Burke 0-1 each.
Galway: C Tuohy; M Ó Conghaile, D O'Donoghue, M Conneely; S Linnane, S Cooney, R Doyle; E Burke, D Dolan; C Whelan, R O'Meara, A Morrissey; B Molloy, B Burke, C Shaughnessy. Subs: J Hastings for R O'Meara (37 ), V Doyle for R Doyle (52 ), E Brannigan for D Dolan (56 ), R O'Meara for B Burke (70 ), R Bellew for M Conneely (inj. 72 ), D Dolan for A Morrissey (78 ).