Last Sunday was a busy day of Gaelic football in many GAA houses in the county.
Most Galway supporters wanted to throw their eye on the Kerry minors in their All-Ireland semi-final against Kildare on TV, as the winners would be facing Stephen Joyce's squad in the final. The youngsters from the Kingdom were ominously good and gave the Lily-Whites an awful trouncing.
At least Galway are now forewarned, and know the quality of the opposition they face in three weeks' time. The reality is, it will take a top class display on September 18 by Galway to stop the green and gold lads from doing the three-in-a-row of minor titles.
That minor game was followed by the first half of an epic between Dublin and Kerry before people dashed to Pearse Stadium or Tuam Stadium to support their local teams and see some club action.
Caherlistrane and Maigh Cuilinn in Salthill
In a very entertaining encounter with some top quality scores by both sides, points from Bane, O' Brien and Connelly were decisive for Caherlistrane against Maigh Cuilinn in Pearse Stadium.
Coming up to half time, Michael Donnellan's Maigh Cuilinn outfit looked in good shape, leading by 0-9 to 0-4, but three rapid points just before the break from former county star Cormac Bane and Ronnie Conneely left only two between the sides at the small whistle. Considering how dominant Maigh Cuilinn had been in the first half, a two-point lead was a poor return for their efforts.
Free taker Peter Cooke was the Maigh Cuilinn scorer in chief and he kicked four scores in the first half, three from placed balls. However, the Galway senior panellist also missed a few other efforts on a mixed day for him.
A key moment in the game came early in the second half when Maigh Cuilinn's experienced midfielder Mark Lydon, who had been majestic in the air for the first 30 minutes, broke through and had only Eanna Bane to beat in the Caherlistrane goal.
The dual club star hit a real blaster instead of placing the ball, and it rocketed back off the black spot to give the Queally men a real boost. And it was a let off that galvanised them.
Their two man full-forward line of former county minor Oisín O'Brien and Ronnie Conneely really went to work on the Maigh Cuilinn full-back line and hit 0-5 from play between them in the second half.
Bane notches eight points
Cormac Bane also had a massive say in the result and he hit four points in the second period, with three beauties from play, to bring his personal tally to 0-8 (5fs ) for the 60 minutes in a terrific performance. Bane is accurate and links well with the inside line who pop the ball on to him on the run and he does the rest.
Another player in the white and blue who really caught the eye was county minor Cian Darcy who started at wing-forward and hit 0-2 from play before also having a big role when moved out to midfield to help the valiant efforts of Shane Bohan and the powerfully built and experienced Brendan Murphy.
It was good to see Darcy moving so well and he will have a big job of work to do around the middle for Galway in the All-Ireland minor final.
Others who impressed in their 0-17 to 0-14 victory were centre-back Rory Glynn, who is regularly a top performer for his club, and he swept up a lot of ball last Sunday too. Other defenders who did well were corner back Noel Judge and the lively Colm Monahan.
Former Barna player Donal Feeney also worked hard at wing-forward for the winners and substitute Kevin Nally came in and caught a few important balls in an impressive cameo.
Overall their team manager Neil McHugh will be pleased with the work-rate and second-half display of his charges who will now face Salthill/Knocknacarra in the quarter-finals.
For Maigh Cuilinn it was a game they will feel in hindsight they could have got something out of. They missed a few goal chances and any one of them would have changed the game's complexion.
Raiding wing-back Diarmuid Lee hit a point in the first half, when he might have goaled, and over-elaboration on one or two other occasions in the red zone also cost them dearly. On such margins are games won and lost.
Better team won
However, the bottom line is Maigh Cuilinn can have no real complaints.
Caherlistrane hit 10 points in the second half, eight from play compared to the paltry five for the Connemara men, with only two of them from play, from Sean Kelly and Pat Lydon and three frees from Cooke.
Admittedly the loss of players such as Eoin Walsh with a fractured collar bone and two yellow cards for county player David Wynne in the second half did not help their cause, but the better and more composed team advanced to the last eight. Their management team of Neil McHugh, JJ Greaney, Declan Hamilton and Stephen Hamilton will be confident they can go a bit further in the football championship.