Photo: Independent.ie (Sportsfile)
So the championship is off and running again – well, sort of. The opening tie of each year’s championship campaign – always involving New York, always played out over there in Gaelic Park – is to the tournament proper what the Iowa caucuses are to the US Presidential election race, only the latter event isn’t completely irrelevant in the four-yearly race to the White House.
This evening’s contest between Galway – who, in fairness, had to sweat a bit the last time they appeared in this ritual championship opener back in 2010 before they finally won through – and the Yanks ended in a predictably one-sided result, with the Tribesmen prevailing by 2-18 to 0-8. The Exiles did manage a bit of a gallop early on when ex-Wexford player (a handy lad he is too) PJ Banville opened the scoring for them and they still led, 0-3 to 0-2, twenty or so minutes in. Galway then started to pull ahead and they were 0-9 to 0-4 clear by half-time.
Although PJ Banville opened the scoring after the break in the same way he’d done at the outset, a Shane Walsh goal for the visitors just after this sucked all the remaining oxygen from the contest. Galway powered on from there, adding a succession of points before a second goal arrived, courtesy of Damien Comer, ten minutes from the end. They had all of sixteen points to spare over the Exiles at the finish.
Match report from GAA.ie is here.
Galway now face Leitrim in a Connacht quarter-final tie at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada on Sunday week. I know, I know – it makes no bloody sense for one county (Galway) to have to play two matches in a provincial competition involving seven contestants for the right to play another county (us) who haven’t played anyone at all. Welcome back you wild, wonderful and totally illogical championship.