Two medals in one day: the daunting task facing Galway’s Daithí Burke
Footballer and hurler has work cut out as both county finals are on the same weekend
Galway’s Daithí Burke and John Conlon of Clare in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park in July 2018. Burke is hoping to become the first player in 50 years to win Galway senior medals in both codes. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Daithí Burke’s hopes of becoming the first player in 50 years to win Galway senior football and hurling medals in the same year may have to be achieved inside 24 hours after the two finals were on Monday fixed for the same weekend.
Burke is captain of the Turloughmore team which reached the hurling final for the first time in 30 years when they defeated Loughrea on Sunday, and he will also be a key figure as Corofin take on Mountbellew/Moylough next weekend in the football semi-finals.
Initially, it was planned to stage the Galway hurling final next weekend, but that has had to be put back a week after the other semi-final between champions St Thomas and Cappataggle was called off on Sunday due to a Covid-19 concern.
That game has now been rescheduled for next Sunday in Athenry, with the county hurling final planned for the following Saturday, October 3rd.
The Galway football final is scheduled for the following day, Sunday October 4th, with Burke’s Corofin expected to advance to that decider when they will hope to win their eighth title in a row.
Galway GAA chairman Pat Kearney said the decision to stage both finals over the same weekend was to give the county teams as much as time as possible to prepare for their upcoming campaigns.
“We had planned to have the hurling final next weekend but can’t push it back further than the following weekend. We don’t know from one day to the next what will happen with Covid-19 so the hurling final has been fixed for Saturday week.
“The football final is the following day and that leaves just one more weekend before the county team takes on Mayo in the league. Our hurlers are out a few weeks later at the end of the month against Wexford in the championship.
“We had planned to have the hurling and football finals on separate weekends but the postponement of the hurling semi-final last Sunday means they will have to go ahead on the same weekend now,” he said.
Burke is hoping to become the first player since 1970 to win senior hurling and football medals in the same year in Galway. Back then former All-Star footballer Liam Sammon was among a small group who won football medals with Fr Griffin’s and the hurling title with Liam Mellows.
Since then several players have won hurling and football medals in Galway but not in the same year.
Alan Kerins had the distinction of winning county hurling crowns with his native Clarinbridge and a football medal with Salthill/Knocknacarra and then going on to All-Ireland glory in both codes.
Former Galway footballers Tomás Mannion and Mattie Coleman were among a small group who helped Abbeyknockmoy win the hurling title in 1988 and the football crown with Monivea/Abbey four years later.