JJ Delaney's evocative words about David Burke are worth making a deal about
The party has not stopped in Galway since around 5:12pm on Sunday.
29 years without All-Ireland success came to an end at the weekend as The Tribesmen got one over Waterford to claim the Liam MacCarthy Cup. The players took that cup over the Shannon on Monday afternoon and made a couple of stop-overs before their massive homecoming in Ballinasloe.
Crowds gathering in Ballinasloe pic.twitter.com/2cvxrUP5yo
— Kevin Oliver Murray (@Kevnmur) September 4, 2017
Everyone wanted a moment with their heroes, a selfie, an autograph, a touch of the cup or to simply shake hands with the men that did the entire county so proud. Even members of An Garda Síochána got in on the act:
One of the men every Galway native wanted to see was David Burke, captain of the seniors and man-of-the-match in Sunday's final. The St Thomas' clubman scored four points from play and was a tireless, driving talisman from the very first exchanges at Croke Park.
Praise for the 27-year-old has been fulsome but when nine-time All-Ireland winner J.J Delaney speaks, the words should ring straight and true. On The GAA Hour Hurling Show, Delaney said:
"Coming into the game, all the talk was around the Waterford midfield - Kevin Moran and Jamie Barron - but David Burke, the type of person he is and the personality he has, he likes a challenge as well. He'll back himself every day of the week too, to be fair, and he'll back his ability.
"He's been there, done it and he's the most consistent Galway hurler over the last three or four years, definitely. He came back to those standards."
Delaney and Burke's paths crossed a couple of times before the Kilkenny legend retired from the inter-county scene. He is well aware of Burke as a fierce competitor and was impressed with him this summer.
For those reasons, he was not concerned about Burke coming into the final after he had endured a difficult afternoon in the semi final win over Tipperary. Delaney commented:
"If his first touch was spot on [against Tipperary] he would have been on a lot of possessions. On Sunday, he had 14 or 15 possessions which was the most that any Galway player had in play.
"He contributed four points from play, ran himself into the ground all the way into the last 10 minutes. He was taken off with just under five minutes to go because he was out on his feet. He had left his heart and soul out there on that field.
"He wasn't going to accept defeat and he led by example. When you are on a team with the likes of David Burke and the likes of him as a leader... and you see what he is doing, he's hooking, blocking, ghosting in, he was up the field, he was back down in the full back line helping his defenders. When you see that, it just gives the whole team a huge lift."
He had left his heart and soul out there on that field.
Coming from a man like JJ Delaney, there can't be any higher praise.
Check out the full review and analysis of Galway's All-Ireland triumph here: