Galway's 6 ft 5 inch giant of a half forward shows a touch of pure class to win Connacht final
Galway 2-19 Roscommon 2-16
Having lost to them in successive weekends during the National Football League, Galway settled a score with Roscommon when it really mattered.
Shane Walsh was the main man for the Tribesmen who, having lost three Connacht finals in the last three years, weren't to be denied this time around. On the line, Padraic Joyce will have been extremely satisfied with what he saw as, in backing up their semi-final win over Mayo, his team have real momentum behind them now.
Walsh was at his irresistible best in Pearse Stadium, and was rightly named as the man-of-the-match, but he had plenty of back-up on a day when Galway were sharper, slicker and faster than their rivals. Paul Conroy kicked points from everywhere, as per, while Damien Comer was like a man possessed on the edge of the square.
Comer eventually had to come off due to an ankle injury that, despite hampering him, for large parts, just couldn't stop him. The Rossies couldn't stop Kieran Molloy or Robert Finnerty either, who kicked some lovely scores but the score of the day came from Galway's 6 ft 5 inch tank of a half forward.
They'll be calling him the big easy now as, after collecting the rebound to Finnerty's shot, he controlled it calmly before drop-kicking it into the top corner.
Finishing with the drop-kick is just elite from Patrick Kelly 💯pic.twitter.com/QRXffYfraT
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) May 29, 2022
Roscommon didn't give up, with Conor Daly and Diarmuid Murtagh scoring late goals, but they were mere consolations because the damage had been done. The damage had been done, primarily by Walsh who, according to Colm O'Rourke, was given the freedom of the park by Anthony Cunningham's team
"In fact, they (Roscommon) had a new strategy for marking Shane Walsh and that was to leave him alone for most of the game," said O'Rourke.
"When you watch Shane Walsh play football," added Sean Cavanagh, "there's a thing of beauty about it. He controls every aspect of the game, with his pace and power and he doesn't even know which foot is his bad foot."
So, fittingly, we'll leave the last word to the man himself.
"This is the sweetest one yet," he said afterwards.
"And we just want to build on it now."