Sean Neary with the Leinster U-20 Cup

Galway defeat Dublin in BGE Leinster U-20 Hurling Final


By John Fallon at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise

Galway captured the Leinster U-20 hurling title with an impressive display just five weeks after losing the 2020 decider to the same opposition.

It’s Galway’s second Leinster title in the U-20/21 grade and goals in either half proved the difference as Jeffrey Lyndsey’s charges, with seven starters from the side which lost the provincial final last month, could afford 14 wides and still survive.

Dublin goalkeeper Ben Hynes also produced several good saves in the second-half to keep the holders in contention but Galway finished strongly to secure their first crown in the grade since 2018.

The sides went in level at the break thanks to a superb point from the right wing by Dara Purcell for Dublin when he landed his second of the match to leave it 1-7 to 0-10 at the interval.

The only goal of the half fell to Galway after eight minutes when Oisin Flannery pounced to flick the ball to the net after goalkeeper Hynes failed to hold an effort from distance from Christy Brennan.

That pushed Galway 1-2 to 0-4 in front after Dublin, backed by the slight breeze, had started well with Ciaran Foley hitting a couple of points and Purcell and Kevin Lahiff also finding the range.

Sean McDonagh and a second free from Donal O’Shea extended Galway’s lead to 1-4 to 0-4 at the end of the opening quarter.

But three frees in a row from Foley tied the sides for the second time in the match before Patrick Dunleavy edged them in front with a fine shot from the right after 24 minutes.

Flannery followed up his goal with a point to level and two more from O’Shea, one of them from play, saw Galway lead by two but Dublin finished the half well and both Lahiff and Purcell got their second points of the contest to tie the game at the break.

Donal Leavy edged Dublin in front just after the restart but then John Cooney, son of former All Star Joe, soloed through for Galway to dispatch a superb shot to the top left corner of the net.

Galway never relinquished the lead after that even though they didn’t make the game save until the closing moments, with ten second-half wides and a string of good saves from Dublin goalkeeper Hynes ensuring it went down to the wire.

But a couple of late points from Sean McDonagh, who picked up a second yellow card in the dying moments, and a seventh of the evening from O’Shea secured the title.

Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 0-7 (4f), Oisin Flannery 1-2, Sean McDonagh 0-3 (1 sideline), John Cooney 1-0, Jason O’Donoghue 0-1, Niall Collins 0-1, Sean Neary 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Ciaran Foley 0-8 (6f, 1 ’65), Dara Purcell 0-2, Kevin Lahiff 0-2, Patrick Dunleavy 0-2, Donal Leavy 0-1.

GALWAY: Paddy Rabbitte; Eoin Lawless, Eoghan Geraghty, Christy Brennan; Shane Quirke, Sean Neary, Evan Duggan; Ian McGlynn, Jason O’Donoghue; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Sean McDonagh, John Cooney; Niall Collins, Donal O’Shea, Oisin Flannery Subs used: Alex Connaire for Jason O’Donoghue (45), Greg Thomas for Diarmuid Kilcommins (46), Conor Flaherty for Evan Duggan (51), Liam Collins for Niall Collins (56), Colm Cunningham for Ian McGlynn (59)

DUBLIN: Ben Hynes; Davy Crowe, Brian Sheehy, Iain Ó Heither; Paddy Doyle, Cian Ó Cathasaigh, Patrick Dunleavy; Darragh Power, Donal Leavy; Darach McBride, Kevin Lahiff, Pádhraic Linehan; Ciaran Foley, Seamus Fenton, Dara Purcell. Subs used: Cian Boyle for Darach McBride (41), Liam Dunne for Kevin Lahiff (50), Joe Flanagan for Pádhraic Linehan (55).

Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly).


Celebrating the Win


John Cooney on the ball

Colleran Seamus 2nd from left Copy

Death of former Galway and Tuam Stars footballer

The GAA in Galway are mourning the death of Séamus Colleran, Ballygaddy Road, Tuam, on Friday July 23. He was a native of Moylough.

Séamus was a member of the Galway panel in the All-Ireland winning year, 1956, and the successful National League campaign of '56-57. He played at left half-back for Galway in the 1959 All-Ireland final against Kerry, the winners.

His brother Enda captained Galway to Sam Maguire Cup glory in 1965 and '66, and an older brother, Gerry, played for the county team in the early 1950s. Their first cousins Noel and Brendan Colleran also played senior championship football for Galway.

Séamus won seven county senior championship medals with Tuam Stars in the 1950s and early '60s, and four county senior league medals.

With Galway, he also played at the Polo Grounds, New York in 1957, and he played in the Wembley tournament, an annual event which drew large numbers of Irish exiles to the famous London venue in the late 1950s.

Séamus Colleran is survived by his wife Helen; daughters Denise and Elaine; sons Jim, Brian, Liam and Alan; his sister Moira, the extended family, relatives and a wide circle of friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


Connacht Senior Football Championship Final

MAYO 2-14 GALWAY 2-8

Every Mayo win over Galway is celebrated furiously, but this was an especially sweet Connacht SFC Final success at Croke Park.

Trailing by five points at the turnaround and seemingly in all sorts of bother, Mayo remained cool under duress to annihilate Galway after the restart.

Galway could only muster three Matthew Tierney pointed frees in the second period as Mayo governed that part of the game.

It was chiefly due to the brilliance of Mattie Ruane, who was outstanding for the green and red. Ruane was fouled by Tierney for the match altering penalty which Ryan O'Donoghue converted expertly immediately after half-time.

Ruane then nailed the insurance goal in the 67th minute to seal a stirring Mayo comeback as Galway struggled to contain James Horan's vibrant team.

Prompted by the drive and desire of Paul Conroy, Galway dictated the agenda for much of the first half.

The St James' clubman stormed into the match and was a significant influence enabling the Galway attack to provide glimpses of real craft in attack.

Shane Walsh plundered one goal before creating another major for Damien Comer, who was performing with trademark determination.

Comer, plagued by injuries in recent years, illustrated his considerable value to the Galway cause as Padraic Joyce's outfit departed at the break armed with a 2-5 to 0-6 advantage.

Initially Mayo settled smartly accumulating a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the 11th minute, but then Galway responded in impressive fashion.

Before the water break Conroy contributed a point and when the action recommenced Galway pounced for a goal that owed much to Walsh's opportunism.

Conroy's 19th minute shot struck the post and Walsh reacted to gather possession prior to unleashing a thunderbolt which made the Mayo net dance.

A second goal was planted on 28 when Walsh scorched clear to release Comer, who supplied another crisp finish. Suddenly Galway were five clear and Mayo had to summon answers.

By the time the interval rolled around Galway were 2-5 to 0-6 as an interesting provincial decider unfolded at GAA headquarters.

Aidan O'Shea's pass put Ruane away early in the third quarter with Mayo awarded a penalty following a foul on the Breaffy clubman. O'Donoghue supplied the grace note and Mayo's challenge was injected with hope.

Six further Mayo points on the spin were added with Tommy Conroy, splendid substitute Kevin McLoughlin, and the prominent Conor Loftus amongst the scorers.

Mayo assumed a 1-12 to 2-5 cushion with Galway terminating a 27 minute search for a second half score when Tierney landed a free.

Tierney brought Galway to within two when clipping another free, but Mayo were unperturbed. Inevitably Ruane raced through to blast a goal to seal the deal meaning the Nestor Cup was retained by Mayo.

Galway substitute Michael Farragher was sent off in the closing stages as Mayo prevailed.

Horan's charges will enter the All Ireland series heartened.

Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O'Donoghue 1-3 (1-0 pen, 2fs), Mattie Ruane 1-2, Tommy Conroy and Conor Loftus 0-2 each, Kevin McLoughlin, James Carr, Paddy Durcan, Darren McHale and Robert Hennelly (45) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 1-1, Matthew Tierney 0-4 (3fs), Damien Comer 1-0, Paul Conroy 0-2, Cathal Sweeney 0-1.

MAYO: Robert Hennelly; Lee Keegan, Padraig O'Hora, Michael Plunkett; Paddy Durcan, Oisín Mullin, Stephen Coen; Mattie Ruane, Conor Loftus; Bryan Walsh, Aidan O'Shea, Diarmuid O'Connor; Tommy Conroy, Darren McHale, Ryan O'Donoghue.

Subs: Eoghan McLaughlin for McHale (HT), Kevin McLoughlin for Walsh (HT), Jordan Flynn for Loftus (45-51), Rory Brickenden for O'Hora (57), James Carr for A O'Shea (68), Conor O'Shea for O'Connor (70+5)

GALWAY: Connor Gleeson; Seán Kelly, Seán Ó Maolchiaráin, Liam Silke; Kieran Molloy, Dylan McHugh, Johnny Heaney; Paul Conroy, Matthew Tierney; Damien Comer, Peter Cooke, Cathal Sweeney; Rob Finnerty, Shane Walsh, Paul Kelly.

Subs: Finnian Ó Laoi for Finnerty (17), Jack Glynn for S Kelly (26), Michael Farragher for Sweeney (51), Eamonn Brannigan for P Kelly (56), Johnny Duane for Walsh (70+2).

REFEREE: Conor Lane (Cork).




All-Ireland SHC Round 2 Qualifier



Another hurling weekend, another epic comeback, but this one fell just short.

It looked like Galway’s final rites were already read when they trailed a rampant Waterford by 1-25 to 0-12 by the 54th minute of this All-Ireland SHC Round 2 Qualifier in Semple Stadium.

But they rose from their death-bed in dramatic fashion with three late goals that transformed what looked like being a procession for Waterford into a white-knuckle ride to the finish.

And were it not for a burst of three points in as many injury-time minutes by Waterford, they might well have conspired to lose a game they dominated for so long.

Had that scenario come to pass, it would have been a real head-scratcher because Liam Cahill’s team played spectacular hurling for most of the match.

They simply ran Galway ragged with their high-tempo hard-running/short-passing game.

The sight of a Waterford hurler backing himself to break through the first tackle and then popping the ball off to a supporting runner on his shoulder was the central theme of the match, and a tactic that ripped Galway open time and again.

The Tribesmen just couldn’t cope with Waterford’s superior athleticism, and didn’t play with anything like the same method either as they relied on hit and hope deliveries into their forwards for most of the game.

Jack Fagan of Waterford gets away from Daithi Burke of Galway on his way to scoring his side's first goal during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2 match between Waterford and Galway at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary.

That sufficed to keep them in touch for the first quarter of the contest thanks largely to the industry of Conor Whelan, with a scoreline of 0-9 to 0-7 in Waterford’s favour by the first water-break not quite reflective of their dominance.

It was a different story, though, in the second quarter.

Now the blistering runs of Waterford’s half-backs and midfielders who would hit a combined 11 points from play over the course of the game really began to scorch the Tribesmen.

Barron, in particular, hurled like a man possessed in the middle of the field, and his partner Peter Hogan matched him for industry..


In the second-quarter Waterford outscored Galway by 1-9 to two points, with the goal from Jack Fagan on 32 minutes a beautifully constructed score.

Dessie Hutchinson made one of many high-rev sprints to race onto Barron’s sideline cut before off-loading to the on-rushing Patrick Curran who played in Fagan.

The combination of quick feet, quick-hands, and quick thinking tore the Galway defence open and Fagan finished emphatically for a goal that put his team 10 points ahead.

The previously quiet Austin Gleeson then burst into the contest just before half-time with a couple of points that gave his team a 1-18 to 0-9 advantage at the break.

At that stage Galway didn’t look like a team capable of turning the game around, but they were given a boost just before the start of the second-half when referee Sean Stack red-carded Waterford’s Conor Gleeson for an off the ball incident he’d been involved in at the end of the first-half.

His departure didn’t look like it was going to have any impact though as Waterford took up where they left off to dominate the third quarter.

It was the same old story. Their half-backs and midfielders were cutting through ranks of maroon jersies at will to create overloads and overlaps that more often than not led to scores.

Barron, in particular, was sensational with two rousing scores from the middle of the park.

By the second-half water-break Waterford led by 16 points, and you figured they could free-wheel downhill from there.

Not so. Galway suddenly came to life in the final quarter when the repositioning of Cathal Mannion at full-forward gave them a focal point in attack they’d badly lacked up until then.

He scored their first goal on 55 minutes and when points followed from Joe Canning and Evan Niland to cut the gap to 10, Galway’s supporters started to make some noise for the first time in a while.

On the field, their players were also starting to come to life, as Waterford’s 14 men understandably began to wilt in the leg-draining heat.

Points from Canning, Flynn and Brian Concannon had cut the gap to six by the end of normal time, and just as the stadium announcer declared their would be seven minutes of injury-time Flynn got onto the end of a sublime Canning pass to crash home a goal that left just a score between the teams.

With plenty of time left to play and all the momentum behind them, it really now looked like Galway could pull off the mother and father of all comebacks, but a tiring Waterford somehow found the energy for one last vital burst.

Substitute Michael Kiely slung over a fine point and then two Stephen Bennett frees stretched the gap out of six again and you figured you could move back from the edge of your seat.

Jason Flynn of Galway shoots to score his side's third goal during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 2 match between Waterford and Galway at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. 

Not quite. Flynn struck for a second goal to briefly put dread in Waterford hearts again.

Then, when they needed it most, there was one last act of heroism from a Waterford player as Stephen Bennett struck a mighty point from play to finally make the game safe and send his team into the All-Ireland Quarter-Finals.

If their considerable efforts here haven’t taken too much of a toll, they’ll be a hard team to stop now they’ve found their stride again.

There’s one last historical postscript to this match worth mentioning. The nine points that Joe Canning hit today were enough to see him overtake Henry Shefflin as the record score-getter in the history of Championship hurling.

The Portumna man is now out on his own with a tally of 27-485 from 62 Championship matches. Quite the achievement.

Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-10 (7f, ’65), Jack Fagan 1-2, Jamie Barron 0-4, Austin Gleeson 0-3 (1 sideline), Calum Lyons, Kieran Bennett, Jack Prendergast, Patrick Curran all 0-2, Michael Kiely, Peter Hogan, Shane Bennett all 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-9 (8f), Jason Flynn 2-1, Conor Whelan 0-3, Cathal Mannion 1-0, Evan Niland 0-2, Joseph Cooney, Conor Cooney, Brian Concannon, Johnny Coen, Adrian Tuohy all 0-1.

WATERFORD: Shaun O’Brien; Conor Gleeson, Conor Prunty, Ian Kenny; Calum Lyons, Shane Bennett, Kieran Bennett; Jamie Barron, Peter Hogan; Jack Fagan, Jack Prendergast, Stephen Bennett; Dessie Hutchinson, Austin Gleeson, Patrick Curran. Subs: Michael Kiely for Patrick Curran (59), Darragh Lyons for Peter Hogan (60), Billy Power for Jack Prendergast (64), Colin Dunford for Jack Fagan (68), Shane McNulty for Dessie Hutchinson (74)

GALWAY: Darach Fahy; Shane Cooney, Gearóid McInerney, Darren Morrissey; Padraic Mannion, Daithí Burke, Aidan Harte; Seán Loftus, Cathal Mannion; Joseph Cooney, Conor Whelan, Conor Cooney; Seán Linnane, Joe Canning, Brian Concannon. Subs: Johnny Coen for Sean Loftus (26), Adrian Tuohey for Sean Linnane (30), Evan Niland for Conor Cooney (46), Jack Fitzpatrick for Darren Morrissey (51), Jason Flynn for Joseph Cooney (58)

Ref: Sean Stack (Dublin)


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