Galway beat Dublin to win the U20 All-Ireland 315 days later 11 months ago

Galway beat Dublin to win the U20 All-Ireland 315 days later

As All-Ireland successes go, few have been as hard-earned and deserved as Galway's.

315 days. That's how long the 2020 All-Ireland U20 football championship endured and after all that time, all the mental and physical hardships along the way, all the shit that this year has brought, the Tribesmen have clinched one of the sweetest glories of all.

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Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Kerry and now Dublin stood in front of Galway and, one by one, tackle by tackle and score by score, this Galway team had the talent, the coaching and the heart to see them all off.

And seeing off the Dubs in the decider was a fitting end for a team who started training 14 months ago, especially considering the threat of Dublin was as ominous as you'd expect it to be.

The capital city outfit ran through the Leinster championship with 10 points, 9 points, 13 points and 10 points to spare in each of their clashes but perhaps Galway knew something special was brewing out west after their 20-point dismantling of Roscommon in the Connacht final set them up for a rattle at the Kingdom.

And it all could've been so different if they didn't see off Mayo on penalties all the way back in February in the Connacht quarter-finals.

Matthew Tierney held his nerve that day from the spot and it's almost as if it was written in the stars because Matthew Tierney was born to play in Croke Park and he duly lit the place up with his mesmerising runs and his trusty left peg.

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A spectacular 1-6 tally from the boot of Tomo Culhane did most of the damage for the westerners who went six ahead with 23 minutes left but had to keep Dublin at a finger's length as the minimum separated the sides in the end.

And whilst Tierney and Culhane did the damage at one end, it was the performance of Jack Glynn in the full back line for Galway that really made the difference.

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Glynn put in a man of the match display as he went toe to toe in a rip-roaring battle with Ciaran Archer, who basically made himself a household name after starring throughout the 2019 championship.

But Glynn made himself Archer's shadow on Saturday afternoon and his strength and pace across the ground, his discipline and his brain made him a match for Archer in a duel that Galway simply needed to at least break even in if they had a chance of winning this.

And 315 days after they started, after they were dragged into a penalty shootout in Castlebar, it was Glynn who made his way to the Hogan Stand steps and it was Galway who reigned supreme.


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