INPHO Daithi Burke has starred for Corofin and Galway recently.
Juggling Act

The dual star bidding for more glory with Galway club double bid

Daithi Burke faces key matches with Turloughmore and Corofin over the next couple of weekends.

WITH THEIR GRIP on the defence of their crowns wavering last Sunday, Corofin turned to one of the cornerstones of their team.

Two points down and with six minutes remaining, they introduced Daithi Burke against their arch rivals Tuam Stars as the Galway senior football final was starting to slip away from them.

It was Gary Sice who supplied the scoring inspiration to rescue Corofin but the return of Burke, marked absent for a large chunk of this season due to Galway hurling commitments and some injury troubles, was reflective of the urgency of the situation.

The outcome of a draw necessitates a replay to settle the issue of whether Corofin can complete seven-in-a-row in Galway this year.

For Burke it adds another fixture to a hectic schedule at a critical stage in the club season. Next Sunday he’ll be a pivotal figure for Turloughmore on Galway senior hurling semi-final day against St Thomas, the curtain-raiser at Kenny Park in Athenry sees Cappataggle meet Liam Mellows. 

The following Sunday, 3 November, will be round two of the club football showdown in Tuam Stadium.

Seven days later is where the fixture list could start to potentially pile up if both Turloughmore and Corofin are successful in their next outings. The Galway senior hurling decider is pencilled in for 10 November, the same day as the Galway football representatives will be tasked with a Connacht club semi-final against either Mayo’s Ballintubber or Leitrim’s Glencar-Manorhamilton. 

There’s still plenty of action that must unfold and a couple of results must swing the way of Burke before such a scenario could arise. Corofin discovered last Sunday just how much of a test that Tuam Stars can pose.

Turloughmore’s challenge is far from straightforward next Sunday, a last four tie against a St Thomas side who contested the club final on St Patrick’s Day last, have won three of the last seven crowns in Galway and are powered forward by stars like David Burke and Conor Cooney.

david-burke-celebrates-after-the-game Gary Carr / INPHO David Burke after last February's All-Ireland club semi-final. Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

But still it’s a positive sign to be mounting a double county assault at this stage of the season. Alan Kerins did something similar out west with the Clarinbridge hurlers and Salthill-Knocknacarra footballers, picking up county titles on different occasions during the 2000s and enjoying the rare distinction of All-Ireland medals with two different clubs.

Burke’s Turloughmore club-mate Barry Cullinane achieved a milestone in 2005 in winning All-Ireland U21 titles with Galway in the same season, his local football played with Claregalway. 

Yet Burke has taken Galway dual player excellence to new levels in recent times, swapping seamlessly between the codes. A variety of former Cork players, most notably Brian Murphy, have staggering hauls of medals from their dual exploits but Burke’s recent return is impressive.

Galway’s hurlers were lauded for their 2017 hurling breakthrough and it was also a game of personal significance for Burke in completing a novel All-Ireland set.

  • Minor – Galway hurling 2009
  • U21 – Galway football 2013
  • Senior club – Corofin football 2015
  • Senior county – Galway hurling 2017

His performances have not dipped since. He picked up another Leinster medal with Galway last summer and collected his fourth successive All-Star for full-back displays of renown in November. There’s been a further pair of St Patrick’s Day club celebrations with Corofin, he was the star performer when they stormed past Dr Crokes last March.

daithi-burke-interviewed-as-the-team-join-in James Crombie / INPHO Daithi Burke interviewed by TG4 last March after winning the man-of-the-match award. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Speaking back in May, then Galway hurling manager Micheal Donoghue captured Burke’s achievement in shining in both codes.

“To be able to do both is incredible and to be able to play at the level he plays, he’s such an integral part of that Corofin team, he’s in the engine room of it.

“Obviously he plays a massive part for us, but he’s just so natural. That’s the only way I can describe it. For both codes he looks completely at home and just really impressive. In fairness to him, he trains really hard and he’s just a good pro.

“His level of consistency is incredible, for both teams. Yeah, Daithi’s a bit of a freak.”

The chance to strike gold with Turloughmore is one he will be keen to seize. They are a club who built up a rich tradition in stringing together six-in-a-row at the start of the 60s but they haven’t won a title since 1985 or contested a final since 1990.

Burke is captain and there’s a strong crew featuring his older brother Ronan, Sean Loftus, Sean Linnane, Fergal Moore and Kevin Hussey that have experience in the Galway senior ranks.

Current kingpins St Thomas, 2017 champions Liam Mellows and an emerging Cappataggle team all combine for a formidable last four line-up.

But after a wave of recent dual triumphs in Galway circles, Burke’s ambitions of a 2019 double are still alive.

Eoin Toolan and Murray Kinsella dial up Gavan Casey on the therapy couch to provide the post-mortem to Ireland’s World Cup implosion at the hands of New Zealand

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel