Northern Gaels 0-13
In the last 10 years or so Claregalway have had many fine victories but few will match this one , not so much the victory itself but the manner of the win. Our opposition came into this game with a fair degree of optimism with a number of County players in their ranks. An amalgamated team from 3 North Galway Clubs were alway going be a tough ask for the young Claregalway men.
On a beautiful autumnal day in Tuam a large gathering of supporters travelled and got to see first hand the work currently undertaken by DAFTS. Development tickets were available , if one had a spare €50.
A number of positional switches prior to throw and the game started on time @ 2:30. Our boys took the game to the Gaels from the start but scores were hard to come by. Harry kept the score board ticking with two frees and one from play. Nathan kicked a neat one and a good score from the lively Jason at midfield. We were 5-2 up coming to the end of the first half, however a small loss in concentration allowed the Gaels kick two late scores and ended the half 5-4.
Scoring wise the 2nd was to provide us with more drama and excitement. An early point had the supporters were in a happier mood but nobody new what to unfold. The Gaels drew level at 9-9 and we’re beginning to look like they had the measure of Claregalway. Level again at 11-11 and a Conor Raftery inspired Team kicked a further two points. On 59 min. and two down our management team had 1 final ace up their sleeve and made the brave move of bringing in sub goalie Michael Newell and pushing Conor Flaherty (the son of Enda) into the opposition square. Conor had kicked a sublime effort earlier off the ground so he knew where the posts were. An additional 7mins got signalled from the notorious Richie McNicholas and we still had time. Credit the lads out on the field, they never panicked and 2 points from Conor had us level. A late free from Nathan put us into the lead and the North Galway supporters were dejected. A late bit of drama gave the impressive No 6 MacDara Geraghty an opportunity to equalize. However his shot was a little short and we were North Champions for the third year in a row. The game finished 0-14 to 0-13 and Dara Whelan was presented with the Cup and the MOTM award was presented to Conor Flaherty. We now await the winners of the West Board Final.
This scribe believes that names like Geraghy and Raftery from the losers will be heard of again in the maroon jersey while we may have a few ourselves.
Our minor team from last year was touted as a dream team. This year with only three survivors from 2017 many supporters felt we would be competitive. Credit the Management Team and players for this sweet victory. It will be talked about and regaled many times in the coming years. The future is bright and the entire squad as always conducted themselves in a classy manner.