Galway are 2017 All Ireland hurling champions after beating Waterford in a superb final and was a very fair result.
Many people thought that the real All Ireland final was when Galway played Tipperary in the semi-final but it was not the case as Joe Canning and man of the match David Burke played some stunning hurling.
Galway 0-26 Waterford 2-17
Victorious manager Micheal Donoghue was happy that his players proved their critics wrong.
“You can look around the stadium, the colour is unreal and it’s mad to think it’s 29 years since the last win and the hurlers and the quality of players that have gone through, this is for them. They have soldiered, they have put blood and sweat into it and there have been management teams that have put all that in too.”
The Tribesmen’s captain David Burke spoke eloquently about the Galway players that never got their hands on a Celtic Cross souvenir.
“I’m sure they were up there somewhere, looking down on us and keeping us going.”
The memory of 1988 Hurler of the Year Tony Keady and former team-mate Niall Donoghue wasn’t far from Josephy Cooney’s thoughts.
“No, I’m just in a dressing room where the scenes are devastation so I’ve put no thought into anything else only the fact that we were here to try to be as competitive and win the All-Ireland and unfortunately we haven’t done that.”
After four years at the helm, Derek McGrath hasn’t put any thought into his future as Deise manager.
“I’m an emotional wreck here at the moment. I’m in tears for my own county but look if we weren’t to win it, I had one of the best nights of my life last night with an awful lot of Galway people. And if we weren’t going to win it fair dues to Galway. If anyone deserves this it’s Galway, we will be back, we’ll learn from this, we’ll bottle this.”
Waterford can bounce back from this disappointment, insists John Mullane.
“When we started they were boys, now they are men. To be involved with that and see the change… Some of those lads have become fathers as well, we’re hurting, we’ll be hurling for a while and there’s only one thing you do when you’re hurting, look at Galway. They were slightly better than us.”
Deise selector Dan Shanahan expressed his pride in their players.
“I loved Gearóid McInerney. He didn’t give Austin Gleeson a smell of the ball today. Austin Gleeson wasn’t at the game, McInerney broke him down; all day I thought he was phenomenal.”
Gearóid McInerney was the main man for Galway as far as Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald was concerned.
“This is why we start hurling for these days. We start at underage, at Under 6s, and this is what it’s all about – coming to Croke Park and winning All-Irelands. This is why we do it.”
Jack Canning stole the show in the minor decider with two second-half goals.
“A huge performance from the lads, seven points down, they showed a huge amount of character to fight back.”
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