Such scenes on the Croke Park pitch! It was just something else when Fergal Horgan blew his whistle and Joe Canning sank to his knees, with a primal roar that echoed through the Cusack Stand to the rafters. Galway GAA people in tears as the long 29 year wait for Liam McCarthy ended in style.
A thought for Waterford and their fantastic supporters, but kudos to Galway. It’s no coincidence they are known as the Tribesmen where its all about family and club connections. This year has been their year. No ifs and no buts this time around.
There were so many iconic moments in Croke Park, from Joe Canning standing tall with Shannon and Margaret Keady during David Burke’s tremendous speech. An emotional moment for all on a day when then legendary No 6 loomed large in the memory of everyone present.
What a speech eh? Recalling their comrade in arms, the late Niall Donoghue and the pure Galway legend that was Tony Keady. And all the management and players over the years, who soldiered on great teams that just fell short.
David Burke knows too well it's not the first or last chip by the sculptor that creates the work of art, and this victory has had many masters. That includes the coaches and the members of the clubs of Galway so eloquently represented on the Croke Park pitch during the presentation, by children proudly wearing their club colours.
Joe Canning with his parents was another memorable image, and as usual Joe taking time to stand patiently for a barrage of photographs and autographs with younger fans. It’s a familiar sight since he first pulled on the Galway jersey, staying on a pitch afterwords signing, often on dark days when the teams have lost, he’s to be found with the supporters. About an hour after the game and Joe still hadn’t’ made it to his delirious teammates in the dressing room.
And what about the minor match when his nephew Jack speared a super Cork team with a searing 2-2 in a second half. The first goal taking the sliotar at lightning pace. A point from under the Cusack stand fires backwards over the shoulder had jaws agape. The second goal, strength under the dropping ball uncle Joe would have been proud of.
Super sub Jason Flynn came off the bench and hit two vital points. Afterwards his thoughts too turned to his late brother Paul, his idol he said, who had broken into the Galway team under Ger Loughnane but tragically lost his life in a road accident.
Sons of famous fathers, Geared McInerney, many people’s man of the match and Joseph Cooney who whipped over two points. As the week passes the celebrations will grow and the memories will gradually flood back. The thunderous roar of the crowd, deafening during the pre match parade. And the din at the end of Amhrán na bhFiann.
Waterford will be back, but the sun goes down on another Galway day. Liam’s going back over the Shannon.