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1980: Galway and Offaly meet for first time   15/06/2012

Galway and Offaly first met each other in championship hurling in 1980, and the following is a summary of how that game went.

GALWAY SURVIVE ENDURANCE TEST

GALWAY 4-9........OFFALY 3-10

"The immediate relief of Galway hurlers great survival trick in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park on Sunday was overwhelming, but it was not long before the conflicting emotions of a most peculiar game began to surface leaving one filled with a mixture of hope and despair.

Hope - of course, that Galway can at last secure the championship win for which they have strived so hard over the past five years, based largely on the supreme traits of character displayed in overcoming a couple of severe setbacks to withstand Offaly's powerful late surge, and also on the passages of inspirational hurling they delivered when the need was most.

Despair - that a team already reorganised through the absence of its two first choice full backs may have a couple of its most important girder's removed for the September 7th showdown with Munster champions Limerick, through the unfortunate injury to Iggy Clarke and the suspension of Sylvie Linnane, and also because of the inability to cut down errors to a fully acceptable level.

Rarely can a victory so deservedly earned at this level have been overshadowed to the extent of such pessimism but there were so many twists of fate against Galway on Sunday that it seemed as if the game itself was doing its utmost to escape their grasp.

It is to the team's eternal credit that they then emerged to qualify for their second successive All-Ireland final, a game in which they would be fully entitled to fancy their chances on past form if they could manage to line out at, or near, full strength."

Both sides were evenly matched in the first half, and the interval scores read Galway 1-4, Offaly 0-7. Galway's first half goal came from the stick of John Connolly, who struck home a massive delivery in from Iggy Clarke.

The second half began tit for tat, until Galway took full control with some sweet hurling. From the 7th minute in the second half til 5 minutes to go, Galway outscored the Offaly opponents by 3-4 to 1-1. The Galway goals all coming from the impressive full-forward line of John Connolly, Noel Lane and Bernie Forde.

So, with 5 minutes remaining, Galway were in comfort zone with a commanding 4-9 to 1-9 lead. But we did not expect to see what happened next. By the time the referee was to blow the full-time whistle, Offaly had staged a huge comeback fight, that left the Galway supporters enduring torture as they saw their lead dwindle as they begged for the ref to blow for full time.

Mark Corrigan began Offaly's revival with a point from play, and then minutes later Brendan Bermingham shot for a goal. Then on the stroke of full time Mark Corrigan took a speculative shot that decieved the Galway goalie and dropped over the line. In fairness to Michael Conneely, the conditions were very greasy as the rain fell very heavily during the secondhalf. Indeed he was one of the Galway stars with great puckouts and up til then was the essence of dependability. The deficit was now at just two points, and panic was well set in the Galway side. But the westerners held on for the win and their place in the final.

Galway:
Michael Conneely, Seamus Coen, Niall McInerney, Jimmy Cooney, Sylvie Linnane 0-1, Sean Silke, Iggy Clarke 0-1, Michael Connolly, Paschal Ryan, Joe Connolly 0-1 free, Frank Burke, P.J. Molloy 0-1, Bernie Forde 1-2, John Connolly 2-0, Noel Lane 1-2.
Subs: Steve Mahon 0-1 for Ryan, Gerry Glynn for Clarke (injured).

Offaly:
Damien Martin, Eugene Coughlan, M. Kennedy, Pat Fleury, Aidan Fogarty, Pat Delaney 0-1 free, Ger Coughlan, Joachim Kelly, Brendan Keesham, Mark Corrigan 1-1, Brendan Bermingham 2-0, Pat Carroll 0-2, Pat Kirwan, Padraig Horan 0-4 frees, Johnny Flaherty 0-2.
Subs: P. Moloughney for Keesham, J. Mooney for Kennedy.

"Extract from The Connacht Tribune, Friday 8th August 1980".





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