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17th Jul 2016

Reality dawns for Galway as they realise they’re good enough to be champions

Talented tribe

Patrick McCarry

Galway 3-16

Roscommon 0-14

Maybe they didn’t believe they had it in them last week. Maybe, as many of them were soaked in the deluge and Enda Smith equalised, they thought, ‘Ah, that’s about right’.

When they beat Mayo to reach the Connacht football final, the inspirational Paul Conroy hit out at the 52 club players that had said ‘No’ to their county. In the midst of a fantastic interview he admitted that they win had not sunk in yet.

They should have followed up that upset by seeing Roscommon off, last week, but they froze. Both sides did. Both seemed happy to see out injury time as the ran sluiced about MacHale Park.

This time out, they made no mistake.

Slick passing, support running, screens, tackling back, shooting on sight, busting a gut. It was all there and Roscommon didn’t stand a chance.

The Galway team before the game 17/7/2016

This is a young Galway team but there’s nothing remarkable about that. GAA squads seems to look younger with each passing season – the Benjamin Button effect. A large part of the management game these days is instilling that belief in a set of young lads. Telling your pups they’re better than their pups.

Roscommon’s year promised so much but Galway are slowly remembering just who they are and what they are about. A footballing team that plays actual football and enjoys themselves doing it.

Gary Sice is the older head. He has been telling the likes of Danny Cummins, Damien Comer, Conroy and more that they have what it takes. Today, they proved him right.

Connacht GAA Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Elvery's McHale Park, Mayo 17/7/2016 Galway vs Roscommon   Galway’s Johnny Heaney celebrates Gary Sice's goal  Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

The game was effectively over by half-time. 2-9 to 0-5 and both Sice and Cummins finding the net. Roscommon were having to score stunning points just to keep their side of the scoreboard moving.

John McStay’s men started the second half brightly but points not goals were scored. Cummins found the net after 55 minutes for his second and the final nail in the Rossies’ hopes.

The final whistle delivered Galway’s 45th Connacht title and their first in eight years. They’ll want more and are capable of going further than the quarter finals.

They’re starting to catch on.

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