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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Chasing first win at Croke Park and aiming to end Galway's wretched recent record at GAA HQ

Shane Walsh will be hoping that this Sunday’s final can the county’s first senior football win in Croke Park since 2001.


SHANE WALSH HAS lined out on the Croke Park pitch six times in his 23 years. Unfortunately, he has been on the losing side for each of those games. Walsh’s run started in 2011, a majestic personal display when he bagged 0-9 in St Jarlath’s Hogan Cup final loss in Croke Park. Later that summer he was pipped by Dublin while in action for the Galway minors in an All-Ireland semi-final. At senior level with Galway, the Croke Park travails have continued.

  • 2013 – Cork 1-17 Galway 1-16
  • 2014 – Kerry 1-20 Galway 2-10
  • 2015 – Donegal 3-12 Galway 0-11
  • 2016 – Tipperary 3-13 Galway 1-10

In fact, Galway’s senior footballers haven’t actually won a game in Croke Park since their 2001 All-Ireland final win over Meath – a game that the then eight-year-old Walsh remembers watching. He’ll be hoping to end the drought this weekend, however, as Galway take on Kildare in the Division Two final in GAA HQ. The Galway forward also remembers when Galway beat Kildare to win the Sam Maguire in 1998, when he was just five, but he feels like their history will play no part in Sunday’s clash.

 History doesn’t really matter on the day, like. We’re just looking to go out and make our own bit of history, I suppose”, he said.

In particular, he remembers the standout performances in those games from childhood heroes Padraic Joyce and Michael Donnellan, which have stayed with him as he followed their path.

Those little nuggets you kinda bring with you as you’re getting older and you look back on it and say ‘I want to be there some day’”.

Galway recently overcame the Lilywhites by a single point in this year’s league fixture, so when the teams meet on Sunday, it will all be to play for again. And, coincidentally, the Tribesmen will be under the direction of a man who played in their last Croke Park win, former All-Star midfielder, Kevin Walsh, who will also be hoping to bring an end to Galway’s Croke Park drought.

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About the author:

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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