Galway manager Padraic Joyce was quick to dedicate the victory to the late camogie star Kate Moran after the Sunday's match that saw Galway move a step closer to a Connacht SFC title as they ended Mayo’s reign as champions with a 1-14 to 0-16 win at Castlebar’s McHale Park.
Moran, a former Galway underage star, tragically lost her life last week after an accidental collision in a club camogie game. Joyce was quick to remember 20-year-old Moran as well as Bridget Kelly, the grandmother of his players Sean and Paul Kelly, after the game.
🗣 'Our thoughts are foremost with her father Cathal, her mother Mary, and TJ, the boyfriend'
Galway's Padraic Joyce dedicated the win over Mayo to the friends, family and memory of Kate Moran after an emotional week in the county | #GAAApril 25, 2022
“The whole thing about coming down today was to get a result. It makes me very, very proud of the lads for that because it was a difficult week in Galway,” said Joyce afterward.
“A very emotional week with the loss of Kate Moran who went out playing a camogie game and didn’t come home.
"Our thoughts are foremost with her father Cathal and mother Mary and TJ, her boyfriend. It is just harrowing and puts life in perspective.
“The two Kellys lost their grandmother as well on Saturday night so, look, we had a lot of emotion coming into the game and had to compose ourselves, play the game. At least that victory might give them an hour or two of solace. But we dedicate our victory to that wee girl.”
For Galway, it was a close thing that went their way as Mayo fought back from six points down with just two minutes of normal time remaining before finally losing by the bare minimum.
Speaking to RTÉ, Joyce stated, “The lads deserve that. They have put a lot of work into Galway football the last two or three years and have had a lot of disappointments. Any day you can beat Mayo in Castlebar is a significant win.
“You have to credit the lads for the character they showed. Obviously, we didn’t play a full 70 minutes, as we would have liked, but that’s the way big games go. You’ll get your periods and they get their periods, where you try to limit the damage.
“We hung on in the end but you make your luck and it’s about time we got a turn of luck in these games. Today is a good day but we’ll dust ourselves down now and get ready for Leitrim in the semi-final in two weeks’ time.”
Mayo boss James Horan was in new territory on Sunday as he tasted defeat to Galway for the first time in seven championship outings as a manager, a result that leaves his team facing the backdoor route to potential All-Ireland glory again.
“We’re disappointed with how we played and how we started,” said Horan. “We went six points down very early and looked to be off it. We grinded it back by halftime but for 15 minutes of the second half we went flat again. You can’t do that against a good team like Galway and hope to win it.
“We’ll take a break and reflect but we have a lot of guys who have very little work done from injuries, etc., so it’ll be a chance to get them up to the level we can.”
*This column first appeared in the April 27 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.
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