Practical view on Galway
Brendan Keogh and his three kids Ð from left: Donag , Ailbhe
years ago, Brendan Keogh was wing half forward on the Galway team
that lost the All-Ireland final to Kilkenny. Needless to say, hes
hoping the Tribesmen can avenge that defeat in their eagerly-anticipated
All-Ireland final replay against Brian Codys men on September
A three-time All-Ireland club winner with Athenry, Brendan was very
heartened by Galways performance in the drawn final and expects
them to be even better in the replay.
I was greatly encouraged by their display the last day. Kilkenny
still havent beaten them in the championship this year and
not many teams can say that after playing them twice in the same
summer, he says.
When you consider that it was their first final and they had
lost the element of surprise by beating Kilkenny in the Leinster
final, Galway did really well to come out of it with a draw. They
made a great start and played a great first half overall. They let
Kilkenny back into it in the third quarter, but had the character
and belief to come back and level it at the end. Galway could take
an awful lot of positives out of that game and will be quietly confident
going into the replay.
Having earned a second bite at the cherry courtesy of Joe Cannings
last-gasp equalising free, Brendan believes Galway will have the
psychological edge in the replay.
Ailbhe in her Galway colors at this years All-Ireland
the team that comes back to force the draw has the mental edge in
the replay. As I already said, Kilkenny havent beaten Galway
in two attempts and that has to be a source of frustration for them.
I would expect Galway to be the hungrier team, but the question
is: can our backs hold the likes of Colin Fennelly, Richie Power
and Eoin Larkin again? If they can keep those players quiet a second
time, they will be in with a great chance.
Brendan feels the Tribesmens participation in the Leinster
SHC has been a big factor in their improvement.
It has definitely brought them, he insists.
The more championship experience a team gets, the better they
become. When I was playing for Galway, the All-Ireland semi-final
was our first competitive game of the championship. It was a big
disadvantage to us.
Aged 42, Brendan enjoyed a glittering playing career with both Athenry
and Galway. At club level, he won seven Galway and Connacht SHC
medals as well as three All-Ireland club titles in 1997, 2000 and
2001. In addition, he won three county MHC and five U21HC medals.
I was lucky to be part of a great group of players in Athenry
who stayed together from underage right up to senior, he fondly
Ailbhe, Noel Keogh (Ailbhe and Sean's Cousin) and Sean Keogh
enroute to Croke Park for this years All-Ireland
lost an All-Ireland MHC final with Galway to Kilkenny in 1988, but
made amends three years later when the Tribesmen defeated Offaly
in the All-Ireland U21 final. He broke onto the Galway senior team
in the same year and played under three different managers Cyril
Farrell, Jarlath Cloonan and Mattie Murphy before overseas
work commitments forced him to take a break from the inter-county
scene in 1996. He returned in 2000 to win a second National League
medal to go with the one he collected in 96.
Brendan also enjoyed Railway Cup success in the colours of Connacht
and is the holder of Oireachtas and Connacht SHC medals. He retired
from hurling in 2003 following Athenrys All-Ireland club semi-final
defeat to Birr.
In the same year, Brendan set up Practical Finance Ltd along with
his brother Barry and Micheal Donoghue, who managed Clarinbridge
to last years All-Ireland club title. Based in Church Street,
Athenry, Practical Finance offers a one-to-one service in motor
and agriculture finance. The company is regulated by the Central
Bank of Ireland.