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Tribes on top! Galway football is riding the crest of a wave across the board

It’s been a great period of football success in the West.
Jul 20th 2018, 4:15 PM 4,845 3

LAST WEEKEND WAS one to remember for the Gaelic footballers of Galway.

Damien Comer and manager Kevin Walsh celebrate Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Of course, there was that massive win for the senior side in their Super 8s opener against Kerry in Croke Park on Sunday. A first championship win over the Kingdom in 53 years, a first championship victory at GAA HQ since 2001.

It may not have been anywhere near the best game of football ever played, but it was no mean feat whatsoever. A three-point win over a Kerry team a lot would have tipped to challenge Dublin this year.

A coming of age performance, it’s been referred to, one in which this matured Tribesmen outfit took the next step, and built on their Connacht title win last month.

Shane Walsh celebrates after the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The minor men were the side to open the weekend on a high for the Westerners though, lifting the Connacht title for a fourth year in-a-row on Friday night.

There was a four-point difference in the end as they saw off Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park and booked their All-Ireland quarter-final date against Kerry.

Corofin star Matthew Cooley pointed the way with a 0-5 haul from play while Eoghan Tinney and Conor Rafferty chipped in with the goals for Donal Ó Fatharta’s troops.

The Galway team celebrate Source: James Crombie/INPHO

While most Galway eyes were indeed on Croker on Sunday, the minor ladies lit up the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick as they were crowned All-Ireland minor A champions.

In doing so, they denied kingpins Cork a fourth consecutive title and did so in style on a scoreline of 5-7 to 2-15.

Andrea Trill was the hat-trick hero on the day, taking over from Aoife Thompson who achieved the same feat in their semi-final win over Cavan. Thompson and Kate Geraghty hit the other two goals as Kieran Collins’ side ran out one-point winners, adding to their 2017 All-Ireland U16 triumph.

Galway v Cork - All-Ireland Ladies Football Minor A final Source: Diarmuid Greene/SPORTSFILE

The ladies underage football set-up has been thriving over the last few years and is now well and truly reaping its rewards.

The senior ladies footballers have enjoyed a successful 2018 to date also, establishing themselves as serious All-Ireland contenders along the way — although they weren’t in action last weekend.

The Tribeswomen are the only side to have beaten the current holders of the Brendan Martin Cup this year — they beat Dublin on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-15 on the road in the group stages of the league, but Mick Bohan’s charges edged them with a late, late goal in the semi-final.

tl Source: Sportsfile.

Stephen Glennon’s side bounced back well from that disappointment however, their exciting youth — the likes of Aine McDonagh, Ailbhe Davoren and Leanne Coen — combining excellently with the more well-known names of Tracey Leonard, Sinead Burke and the Ward sisters, Nicola and Louise.

They looked good as they beat 2017 All-Ireland finalists Mayo by two points at MacHale Park last month to land the Connacht title, and they’re waiting patiently to open their 2018 TG4 All-Ireland championship campaign.

This year’s revamped round-robin structure sees them in Group 3 pitted against Westmeath and Waterford, and they’ll be fancied to cause damage in that pool (they get up and running against the Déise as part of a Birr double-header tomorrow.)

Damien Comer celebrates after the game with the trophy Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Also in action tomorrow are the junior side as they hope to end four in-a-row chasing Kerry’s reign.

Then it’s all eyes on Kevin Walsh’s seniors once again as they make the trip to St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge on Sunday (throw-in 2pm, live on RTÉ.)

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Emma Duffy

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