Sligo's inspirational captain dedicates Connacht title to Red Óg Murphy and his family
It was some night for Sligo GAA.
Sligo won their first ever Connacht under-20 title on Wednesday evening and, having lost nine finals in the grade, it felt like a barrier being knocked and it was as sweet as it gets.
A late and fortuitous goal from their inspirational captain Jack Lavin was enough to turn the tables on Mayo, who had led for large parts, but, even reduced to 14 men, Sligo kept on chasing.
A 50th minute red card would be enough to kill off most trailing teams but Shane Molloy's dismissal only seemed to embolden these Sligo men. So from five points down, Eoghan Smith dragged them back into it with a quickfire 1-1 and then Lavin, fittingly, kicked the winner.
After the game, the captain gave a speech full of maturity and composure. He dedicated the win to Red Óg Murphy and his family and it was tremendous from one so young.
"We've played ye many times down through the years, never an easy game. Ye came out on top the majority of the time, thankfully we did today but I've no doubt ye'll have your day again. Hard luck lads and well done.
"Final thanks goes to these men beside me. They wear that black and white jersey with pride every day they go out. It's an absolute privilege to captain ye, all the work ye put in, so well done boys.
A tremendous speech from one so young.
Sligo under-20 captain Jack Lavin dedicated their Connacht championship win to Red Óg Murphy, his father Red, mother Geraldine and brothers Oisin and Daithí 🖤pic.twitter.com/A3k2vkZCNg
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) April 21, 2022
"Before I finish. We all heard the news two weeks ago. And I'd just like to dedicate this to Red Óg Murphy, to his father Red, to Geraldine and Daithí, this is for all of ye."
And watching on, former Sligo player and manager Tommy Breheny was delighted. So delighted that, after 12 years on Twitter, he finally felt compelled to write his first ever tweet.
That explains it better than we ever could.
— Rory O'Brien (@rory_sligo) April 20, 2022
12 years on Twitter, never tweeted, saved it for a historic occasion. Well done Sligo team & management. Fantastic achievement, future looks bright.
— Tommy Breheny (@brehenyt) April 20, 2022