How Jason Flynn kept his head in Croker cauldron

Were it not for Eugene Cloonan, Jason Flynn probably wouldn’t have tried his luck from the Cusack Stand side with three seconds of normal time remaining.

How Jason Flynn kept his head in Croker cauldron

Trailing 3-16 to 0-24, Flynn broke onto a wayward James Barry clearance hit out towards the Cusack Stand in attempting to shake off the close attention of Tipp sub Conor O’Mahony.

Less than a metre from the sideline, the 20-year old tied proceedings with a most audacious effort. It would serve as his most important contribution in a game where he finished with 0-5.

Since coming into the squad last year, Flynn has worked closely with selector and former Galway forward Eugene Cloonan. The confidence the latter has instilled in Flynn came to the fore on Sunday afternoon.

“Eugene would always say to trust your game and have the confidence to shoot, and even if you miss, to keep shooting, don’t be afraid to make a mistake,” said Flynn. “That is what we are there for, to score.

“He would be telling you if you miss nine balls, the 10th one is the important one. You are going to get the 10th one. He is great to have there.” With the clock reading 53 minutes and Galway still attempting to recover from Seamus Callanan’s third green flag strike, a clumsy Lar Corbett challenge presented the westerners with a free inside their own half.

Management, instead of summoning regular free-taker Joe Canning out the field, handed responsibility to Flynn.

He duly obliged in levelling affairs.

“I scored the hard ones, I missed the easy ones. I had two bad wides, and scored the difficult ones. Anthony and Eugene had me taking a few long-range ones at training because they knew I had a good belt of a ball. Joe had been around the square and it can be a lot of hassle bringing him out to take a free because it takes him a long time to come out. I suppose I was practising them at training and they were happy with me. Joe had missed one or two beforehand, I got the call from the line to go out and take it.

“Joe scored one or two great ones after that. It doesn’t matter who is taking them so long as they are going over the bar.” Cunningham too, adds Flynn, has been another important figure in his development. A few people said to me the look on his face, going in at half-time on Sunday, showed how well up for it he was. He’s like the 16th man.

“He just has huge passion, and he’s ruthless. And he wants to get the best out of you. He’s really developed my game since I came in and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

In attendance at yesterday’s Bord Gáis All-Ireland U21 hurling semi-final launch, the Tommie Larkins forward was adamant he’d never before been part of such a high-intensity fixture.

“The last five, 10 minutes, the calf muscles were cramping up badly. It was so intense. Even watching the hooks, blocks, and tackles, and the honest effort from both teams. They got a good start with the goal, and then two more goals. We as forwards were able to hook, and block, and tackle, and that means an awful lot. To get a point after they got a goal, instead of them building momentum. When you see lads putting in that effort it drives everyone on, and the crowd, and put the momentum back on us. And, I suppose, Galway have got a bit of stick over the last few years, that we weren’t able to get back from goals. So it was a great sign of leadership and character.”

With one September date nailed down, Flynn is now hoping to add a second in this Saturday’s U21 semi-final against Limerick at Semple Stadium.

“It is great timing really. It gets your mind back into it again. Personally, it is my last year U21. We under-performed the last two years, especially myself. I am looking forward to Saturday.”

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