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Five Talking Points As Galway Power Past Wexford In Bruising Leinster Hurling Final

Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 2/7/2017 Wexford vs Galway Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Galway are Leinster champions for the first time since 2012, after a powerful second half display to put Wexford to the sword in Croke Park.

Here are five talking points from the provincial decider.

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Galway backs’ aerial dominance

When Wexford’s short puck-outs began to malfunction, Mark Fanning was forced to go long and the Galway backs started catching ball after ball.

Lee Chin won an early puck-out, handing it off to Paul Morris for a point. This drew immediate parallels to the Kilkenny game. However, the Tribesmen came to terms with the Wexford aerial threat, and began to clean the high balls up.

This laid the foundations for a deserved victory.

Conor Cooney’s thunderous display

The St Thomas’ man led the line for the Galway attack, and despite being double-marked for large parts of the game, was able to win ball after ball.

Eight points is a serious return for any forward, and this Tribe attack has weapons all over.

Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 2/7/2017 Wexford vs Galway Galway’s Conor Cooney with Willi
INPHO/Tommy Dickson
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Record crowd

60,032 patrons flocked to the Jones’ Road venue to see the decider, and they were served up a classic. The novel pairing for a Leinster final clearly caught the imagination of the public, and the atmosphere in HQ was electric.

While the domination of Kilkenny over the past number of seasons may have deterred the crowds, a more competitive race for the Bob O’Keeffe Cup proves its huge appeal.

Is this Galway’s year?

As Galway flexed their muscle in the second half and blew away what was an impressive Wexford performance, there grew a sense that the Tribesmen are finally ready to end 29 years of hurt.

The hype following their League triumph has been justified. For the most part, their backs were comfortable, winning most of the aerial exchanges. The forwards showed dynamism once again, with Conor and Joseph Cooney leading the way.

Two more matches in HQ stand between themselves and the holy grail, and they’re looking like a good bet to do so.

Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 2/7/2017 Wexford vs Galway Galway’s Colm Callanan after saving a penalty
INPHO/Tommy Dickson
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Wexford heading Lee-side

It remains to be seen who Wexford will face next, but they head for the All-Ireland quarter-finals in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Can they bounce back? The manner in which they recovered from a harrowing League semi-final defeat to Tipperary would suggest that they could.

The Yellowbellies came up against a hugely impressive Galway outfit today, but could yet have a big say in this year’s Championship.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.