Graham Geraghty shares class story about Paul Galvin's reaction to Aussie intimidation
Graham Geraghty lined out for the Second Test of that memorable 2006 International Rules Series. He didn't last too long and ended up in an ambulance soon after.
The Meath GAA star was cited for a knee to the head of Australian Lindsay Gilbee in a First Test that Ireland won by eight points. Media reports, at the time, claimed the game in Galway was a tepid affair but the Irish lads had bruises that proved otherwise.
Australia took some tough shots on the pitch and were pretty sore about being on the losing side too. Their intention was to settle some scores at the Croke Park decider, one week later.
Geraghty shared some class memories about that Test Series on The GAA Hour and two men unsurprisingly stood out - Paul Galvin and Kieran McGeeney.
'Geezer' himself recalled Sean Boylan instructing himself and Cork's Graham Canty to stay close to dangerous, stacked Aussie forward Barry Hall. He joked, "It was like wrestling a flippin' gorilla! He was massive, so he was."
Geraghty admits he never say Boylan as upset as he was, after the Second Test, and believes it was because he had to helplessly witness 'his little baby' getting badly beaten up. Geraghty was knocked out by Danyle Pearce and has sketchy memories on the on-field action. He can clearly recall, though, how Galvin responded to intimidation tactics before the match. He said:
"I nearly didn't get on the pitch because there were three of them waiting on the sideline for me. I went to get on and they said to me, 'You know you're going to get it today'.
"I was like, 'F**k it, whatever'.
"Paul Galvin just ran straight out and through the middle of two of them, 'Get the f**k out of the way!' I don't think even they understood what he said. He just burst the whole lot of them out of the way."
The match took several minutes to get going after a canine pitch invasion and several fights that broke out across the pitch.
The Aussies were not for backing down but, after some pure chaos, a match broke out. Order was restored for a while until Galvin and Aidan O'Mahony started meting out some hefty hits and it all kicked off again.
McGeeney recalls having a 'chat' with the Australian captain before the Kerry duo got involved with some nearby Aussies.
"I remember O'Mahony and Galvin being beside me," he says, "and the next minute we were all sitting on the sideline. It was the only game I ever got sent off in."
"I was I was sent off," remarked Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh, who stayed on until the end. Australia won most of the fights and their comprehensive win on the scoreboard saw them take the series.
You can listen to the lads chatting about the game from 46:00 below:
"Most Australian sportspeople take it serious," Geraghty dead-panned.
"I looked at it a few weeks back and I'm there getting the head beat off me and the referee is there, 'Ah come lads. Don't'."