JOE CANNING TOOK most of the plaudits last night, and rightly so given his 11-point haul and the nature of his dramatic winning score.
But Galway were also inspired by outstanding performances from Gearoid McInerney, Johnny Coen, Conor Whelan and Conor Cooney as they booked a first All-Ireland final under Micheal Donoghue.
“(Gearoid) had a savage second half, in fairness to him,” Donoghue said last night. “He was probably been really underestimated. His own journey over the last 18 months has been phenomenal for us.
“We put him in centre-back and he’s really flourished in it. Great character, really strong-minded. He would have been disappointed enough in the first half.
“In fairness to Tipp, they kept it away from him. In the second half, his starting point was much deeper and he came into the game a lot more which was great.
“The biggest thing Conor brings is his attitude. Once the ball is thrown in, he just works and works and works. He knows no different. If you show that attitude you will get your just rewards.”
Jonny Glynn made an important contribution off the bench in the second period, setting up Canning for a golden goal chance in the final quarter. Aerially there are few hurlers in the country that can match him, and once he gets a run he’s very difficult to stop.
The Ardrahan man is still living and working in New York but he looks in decent nick and will be a good option off the bench in the All-Ireland final.
“You have to realise that when Johnny came back, in his first club game he got a knee injury,” said Donoghue. “Our own doc diagnosed it and we thought he might get away without needing surgery.
“He went back to the States, it wasn’t right, he came back again and the medics looked at him again and he ended up having to get surgery. So we probably lost two or three weeks there and then it was a five or six week recovery on it.
“So he was really unfortunate but the amount of work he did from then until now is testament to him and he’s been back with us for the last month, which was brilliant for us, he’s a serious option.”
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