Search Results for 'Mick Sylver'

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Tommy Moroney and the Galway hurlers

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For many years the Galway hurling team qualified automatically for the All Ireland semi-finals as Connacht champions. The problem for them was the semi-final was always their first championship game, whereas the team they were playing always had a few good tough games under their belt. As a result, we only had the one championship game in the season and rarely got to the final.

Connacht Railway Cup team, 1947

In 1947 the Railway Cup crossed the Shannon for the first time. The team were all from Galway. They had beaten Leinster in the semi-final by a score of 2 – 6 to 2 – 5. The man of the match in that game was Paddy Gantley. He gave another memorable display on Easter Sunday when he lined out against Munster in the final. His name used to appear on match programmes as ‘P. Gardiner’ because he was a priest, and not supposed to play hurling.

Galway hurlers, 1949

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There is no game on earth to compare with hurling, for speed, skill, artistry, movement, and athleticism. Fitness also plays a big part in the game. The Galway teams who played in the 1923 and 1924 finals spent an incredible almost 13 weeks together in Rockfield House, between Craughwell and Athenry. There, they lived like Trappist monks with a 6am reveille sounded by team manager and county board chairman, Tom Kenny, who arrived each dawn in his pony and trap from Craughwell. Out of bed and into a cold bath was the order of the day, and the first exercise was followed by a drink of cold water laced with ‘health salts’ before a solid hour’s toning up physical exercises supervised by trainer Jack Berry. Breakfast of the plainest food, with brown bread the major ingredient, followed at 10am. After an hour’s rest, the team and substitutes played and practised hurling with the free-takers perfecting their art with countless shots at goal from all distances and angles.

 

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