This week we look back on the Galway U21 All Ireland championship success of 2002, with full live commentaries of both the semi final win over Kerry and final win over Dublin. It was only the second ever title at the grade for Galway, the first since 1972, and the win was met with huge enthusiasm by the Galway public who had seen the Galway seniors surrender their All Ireland title to Kerry in a quarter final defeat a few weeks previously. The Galway team were managed by senior boss John O’Mahony and his selectors Stephen Joyce, Pete Warren and Tom McManus and they began the 2002 campaign with a comfortable win over Sligo 1-17 to 1-6 in the Connacht semi final. Then came an unlikely hero in the Connacht final as full back Kieran Fitzgerald landed the winning point on a wet night in Castlebar to defeat Mayo 1-9 to 1-8. Galway really opened peoples eyes around the country with a five point win over Kerry in the All Ireland semi final. That was a Kerry team that featured Colm Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan and sub Paul Galvin, but there was even better to comer in the final as Galway produced an outstanding display in front of a huge crowd in Portlaoise to defeat the odds-on favourites Dublin by eight points. That Dublin team included Stephen Cluxton, Mossy Quinn and Alan Brogan but it was Michael Comer’s unbelievable performance at corner back on Brogan that earned the Corofin player the main plaudits on the day.
Listen back to the 2002 All Ireland U21 football semi final between Galway and Kerry with commentary by Ollie Turner and Frank Morris
The All Ireland final was one of the best displays ever by a Galway team in an All Ireland final as they tore into the much fancied Dubs from the start and led by 0-8 to 0-1 at half time. Listen back to the full match commentary with Ollie Turner and former Galway footballer Barry Brennan…
Connacht semi final – Galway 1-17 v Sligo 1-5: David Morris; Tomas Giblin, Kieran Fitzgerald, Richard Murray; Kevin Brady, Diarmuid Blake, Michael Comer; Joe Bergin 0-2, Kieran Comer 0-6 (4 frees); Damien Burke 0-1, Matthew Clancy 0-1, John Paul Steede; Michael Meehan 0-4 (2 frees, 1 ‘45), Derry O’Brien 0-3, Nicky Joyce. Subs: Clive Monaghan for Giblin (27), Brian Conneely for Steede (33), Risteard O’Hara 1-0 for Joyce (55), David Hanly for Burke (62), Paul Geraghty for Meehan (62)
Connacht Final – Galway 1-9 v Mayo 1-8: David Morris; Clive Monaghan, Kieran Fitzgerald 0-1, Richard Murray; Kevin Brady, Diarmuid Blake, Michael Comer; Joe Bergin 0-1, Kieran Comer 0-3 (all frees); Damien Burke, Matthew Clancy 0-2, David Hanly; Michael Meehan 1-1 (1 free), Derry O’Brien 0-1, Risteard O’Hara. Sub: Nicky Joyce for O’Hara (51)
All Ireland Semi Final – Galway 0-17 v Kerry 2-6: David Morris; Clive Monaghan, Kieran Fitzgerald, Richard Murray; Kevin Brady, Diarmuid Blake, Michael Comer; Joe Bergin 0-3, Kieran Comer 0-2 (1 free); Damien Burke, Matthew Clancy 0-2, David Hanley; Michael Meehan 0-3, Derry O’Brien 0-2, Nicky Joyce. Subs: John Devane 0-2 for Hanly (ht), Cormac Bane for Burke (47), Risteard O’Hara for O’Brien (57)
All Ireland Final – Galway 0-15 v Dublin 0-7: David Morris; Michael Comer, Kieran Fitzgerald, Richard Murray; Kevin Brady, Diarmuid Blake, Clive Monaghan; Joe Bergin 0-3, Kieran Comer (Corofin) 0-2 (1 free); Matthew Clancy 0-2, John Devane (Milltown), Damien Burke; Michael Meehan (Caltra) 0-5 (1 free), Derry O’Brien 0-2, Nicky Joyce 0-1. Sub: David Hanly (Corofin) for Burke (39)