AS GALWAY manager Vincent Mullins pointed out, a significant element in their favour was the confidence gained from the win over Cork in the semi-final.
"We’ve inherited this team from Matty Murphy, who would have won a fair few minor titles. We knew that the backbone of that team was very, very strong. Thirteen of the lads that won the All-Ireland two years ago actually started against Cork so it’s a good turn-over. And the big thing was, we saw a character to the side in extra time that we wouldn’t have seen if they were beaten in normal time.
"The big test for us was the Cork game. If you didn’t beat Cork you weren’t playing in an All-Ireland final. But, we didn’t take Dublin for granted. There was a fair bit of hype about them.
"There have been great strides for the last couple of years in Dublin hurling so there was always a chance of a surprise. !
"The panel was very strong and you can have all sorts of ideas about how a game is going to pan out. But you still have to win it.’’
Mullins was satisfied that their victory would help ease the pain of the senior defeat against Kilkenny.
"Definitely, a lot of things will be forgotten now with the fact that Galway are going to bring the trophy across the Shannon now this evening.’’
Kerril Wade, who has already made the breakthrough to senior ranks, acknowledged that their quick start was hugely significant.
"Like Kilkenny did against Limerick, they got a good start and Limerick found it hard to pull it back. It was the same for Dublin today.
"We only won the first half. Vincent said we had another half and all we had to do was go out and draw it and we have the All-Ireland crown. This is a great team. We won a minor in 2004 and we wanted to cap it off with an under-21 so it is great.’’
Joe Canning is well used to the winning feeling in Croke Park, having experienced it with the minors and Portumna in the club championship. In relation to his own display he said he took ‘a lot of belts,’ but was happy to have done ‘a lot of donkey work.’ "It broke off me to the other boys and I’m happy enough.
"It’s about the under-21 today, it’s not about the senior and that’s for a time again.’’