"This fella is the greatest shoo-in for an All-Star I've ever seen" 11 months ago

"This fella is the greatest shoo-in for an All-Star I've ever seen"

His head was cut. His hand was hurting. He'd just ran himself into oblivion over the course of 70 pulsating minutes.

But nothing, nothing was going to stop Thomas Galligan from catching the million dollar ball that eventually led to the Ulster final winning goal. He attacked it like his life depended on it, he flew through the air like a hot missile and he caught it like he did against Monaghan, like he did against Down.


This is what Thomas Galligan does.

When the chips are down, when the backs are lining the wall and when the game is there to be won, that's when you'll see him. Ready, willing and about to jump through fire to get his hands on that ball.

In that sense, he summed up this Cavan team. All ravenous, relentless and manic. It's why he was The GAA Hour performer of the weekend, with Colm Parkinson paying a worthy tribute.

"He's changed my mind from thinking he's a big lump who's good in the air. He has so much more in him," says Parkinson.

"He's a warrior, but most importantly, he's a clutch player. At the most important parts in games when you need somebody to do something - and I've been in loads of games when you're praying for your midfielder to catch this clean, 'we just need this possession.' He wins it. For him to be able to do that at a consistent level, I'd say his half back line, his half forward line, his manager loves him. And everyone around the country loves him now.

"When you look at the big plays Thomas Galligan has made in this championship. Against Monaghan, against Down, against Donegal - the catch in the first minute of injury time that led to a goal, he had no right to win that again. But he was in the wars, went off with a head injury, came back on, did that. Scored a point too. When he catches at 11, it's almost like a set play with one of these diagonal balls over the shoulder.


"What this fella is doing. If this was Brian Fenton that had the four games that he had," continued Wooly, "genuinely, and had the big moments that he had...Fenton is a better footballer now, but this is the greatest shoo-in for an All-Star I've ever seen."

Here, here.

Conan Dohery was just as complimentary, admiring Galligan's gladiator spirit.

"The way he won that throw-in with Hugh McFadden - one of the biggest men in football - that summed him up. He got a head injury, seemed to hurt his spine, got two whacks on the shoulder. Cut his eye, seemed to chip a bone in his hand too - you could clearly see when he caught or handpassed the ball, he was shaking it like it was hurt. But there was not one thought in his head that he was coming off that pitch."

And it's a spirit like that which has made Cavan kings of Ulster again.


You can listen to Monday's GAA Hour football show with Colm Parkinson, Cian Ward and Conan Doherty here.