The highly final between the Galway and Fr. Tom Burke’s hurling teams drew a crowd on Sunday. The teams showed up knowing that it was not going to be an easy match. The unforgiving heat and humidity did not help the case, particularly when they played 20 minutes of extra time.
Galway set the tone with a goal, early on in the first half. Tom’s, determined not to be shown up, bagged a goal of their own and then another seconds later, from number 13, Glen Murphy. Galway worked hard to catch up. It was 3 points from play that put them back on par with their green and black competitors. By the halftime whistle, there was a level score.
Fr. Tom’s wasted no time landing another goal just minutes into the second half, which gave them back their three-point lead. As predicted, Galway focused on points, and before long the score was even again. A penalty for Tom’s did not go their way but resulted in a point instead. With about 10 minutes to go, Tom’s held a one-point lead that they were struggling to hang on to. John Moylan, Galway’s number 10, with a massive surge of energy, scoring four remarkable points in the space of 2 minutes.
Galway now took the lead, for the first time in the second half, leaving Tom’s looking startled. Points bounced back and forth between the sides. With seconds to go, Fr. Tom’s pucked a shot over the bar levelling the score and that there would be extra time.
10 minutes a side of extra time was played, with Galway taking the lead in the first half. They found themselves with a three-point lead, thanks to the hard work of 6 David O’Shea, 9, Kyle Ward, and 10, John Moylan.
Powered solely by their hunger for victory, the teams returned to the field to finish the second half of extra time. With Galway up by three, Tom’s knew they would need a goal to finish on top. Their big chance came in the shape of a free, which would have levelled the score had it been a goal. Number 10, Dylan O’Neill popped it over the bar instead. All hope was lost for Fr. Tom’s when Galway shot the sliotar into the back of the net, sealing their fate. The winning goal was from JJ Doyle who came on as a substitute. Galway enjoyed the last few moments of the game knowing the victory was theirs. The final whistle blew and crowned them the 2023 Junior A hurling champions.
The final score was Galway 2-18 to Fr. Tom Burke’s 3-12.