Joe Keane's Journal of Galway Hurling 1981

1981 Galway hurling was on a roll at the start of 1981 having just won their first senior title in 63 years the previous September, and was one of the favourites to retain the title. Fielding almost the same team Galway progressed nicely to another final after getting over a semi-final draw with Limerick. Galway opponents were near neighbours Offaly who were looking for their first ever All-Ireland title and even though many thought they would put it up to Galway, not many were thinking of a Offaly victory, but a certain Johnny Flaherty made it a great day for the faithful county with a never to be forgotten goal late in the game when Galway seemed to be coasting to another title. If 1980 was wonderful for Galway, this certainly set hurling back a few steps in the county again. Galway also contested the Minor All-Ireland final, but found Kilkenny too strong. On the domestic hurling front Gort were victorious in the senior hurling championship after a replay victory over Kiltormer, while Loughrea were Intermediate champions. The year finished with Galway receiving just two All-Star awards, poor return for a team only minutes away from an All-Ireland title. Joe keane – editor All-Ireland senior hurling championship

Hurlers go on a scoring spree It was understandable that Galway hurlers entered their first title defence with a certain amount of anxiety, but any worries that existed were quickly made to look silly as they mercilessly tore the Antrim challenge apart in the All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke park on Sunday. Michael Glynn Connacht Tribune.

Semi Final in Croke Park

Galway 1.08 Limerick 0.11

Galway scorers Brendan Lynskey 1.00, Joe Connolly 0.03, Finbarr Gantley 0.02, Sylvie Linnane 0.01, Iggy Clarke 0.01, Steve Mahon 0.01.

Galway lineout

Michael Conneely, Seamus Coen Mullagh , Niall McInerney R.I.P. Jimmy Cooney, Sylvie Linnane, Sean Silke, Iggy Clarke, Michael Connolly, Steve Mahon, Joe Connolly, Brendan Lynskey, P.J. Molloy, Bernie Forde, Finbarr Gantley, Noel Lane. Subs. Pascal Ryan Killimordaly ,(12), John Ryan R.I.P. Killimordaly (11).

Leinster final in Croke Park

Offaly 3.12 Wexford 2.13 Munster Final in Thurles

Limerick 3.12 Clare 2.09

Quarterfinal in Croke Park

Galway 6.23 Antrim 3.11

Galway scorers Bernie Forde 2.05, Noel Lane 1.06, Joe Connolly 1.04, Finbarr Gantley 2.00, P.J. Molloy 0.03, Steve Mahon 0.02, Sean Silke 0.01, Iggy Clarke 0.01, Brendan Lynskey 0.01.

Michael Conneely reaches for the sky with the ball against Limerick’s Joe McKenna.

Galway lineout

Galway’s great escape- Dramatic rally foils resilient Limerick It will probably be remembered as one of the strangest All-Ireland senior hurling semi-finals, a day three men were sent off – Limerick’s Sean Foley and Jimmy Carroll and Galway’s Joe Connolly, a day when two points were scored from four penalties, and a day when Dublin referee Noel O’Donoghue did not enhance his popularity with a display which, at times was a little too tricked. Peadar O’Brien Irish Press

Michael King Padraig Perses, Conor Hayes Kiltormer, Niall McInerney Liam Mellows, Jimmy Cooney Sarsfields, Sylvie Linnane Gort, Sean Silke Mellick Eyrecoart, Iggy Clarke Loughrea, Michael Connolly Castlegar, Steve Mahon Kilbeacanty, Joe Connolly Castlegar, Brendan Lynskey Mellick Eyrecoart, P.J. Molloy Athenry, Bernie Forde Ardrahan, Finbarr Gantley Beagh, Noel Lane Ballindereen.

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