This was some way to celebrate a homecoming of sorts for Galway manager Pádraic Joyce as he took charge of the side for the first time at Tuam Stadium.
The Killererin club which produced him is just out the road, the St Jarlath’s College which nurtured him is around the corner and the maroon Galway jersey which he starred in is now being worn by a group of players with his stamp all over them.
Their opening three games, two wins and a loss, had all been decided by a point so a record 19-point hammering of Tyrone was not envisaged but Joyce was in no doubt they would get the win.
“I knew that we were going to give a good performance and what a place to do that, here in the spiritual home of Galway football in Tuam with great support again.
“But I always tell the lads that they have to give reason for the supporters to start following them. Our goal is to bring back in the supporters and there’s way more support coming in each day but we didn’t envisage we’d win the game by so much but we’re in a good place.
“There’s a number of factors in that, the sending-offs and the unfortunate injury to Cathal McShane. I would like to wish him well.”
It was a dismal day for Tyrone. They trailed 0-12 to 0-6 at the break having opted to play against the breeze but then lost Kieran McGeary to a straight red card for a high challenge on Eamonn Brannigan.
Worse was to follow when McShane suffered a serious ankle injury which is going to see him sidelined for a lengthy period just a couple of weeks after turning down a move to Aussie Rules.
And then when Frank Burns picked up a second yellow card as he tried to contain the superb Galway skipper Shane Walsh, the floodgates opened and the Tribesmen outscored Tyrone by 2-11 to 0-1 in the closing minutes.
“I can’t ever remember a day like it,” admitted Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. “But it all goes to prove you never know what is around the corner. You have to just to chew it when it comes and hope you can do better the next day.
“But yeah, it is very, very disappointing. I am disappointed for all of the people who put in a huge amount of work. This past two weeks they have worked as hard and prepared as well as they could have done. But you can never anticipate what can happen in a game.
“But for me the saddest thing is Cathal McShane’s injury. Everyone is very down at the outcome of that game — at both the score line and the loss of Cathal. That has an awful impact on players who play around him and with him.”
Galway were good value for their double scores interval advantage after some superb flowing football which saw all six forwards score from play before the break and Corofin’s Ronan Steede land three magnificent efforts from midfield.
Galway captain Walsh was magnificent throughout but after he extended their lead after the break, Tyrone rallied after the loss of McShane and three pointed frees from Darren McCurry and one from play helped cut the gap to a goal.
But then Galway pulled away when Walsh slotted home a penalty after 51 minutes after Damien Comer was fouled and with Burns getting his marching orders, the Tribesmen made them pay.
Adrian Varley and Eamonn Brannigan kicked a string of points and the experience Paul Conroy came off the bench to shoot 1-1 as Galway scored their biggest ever win over Tyrone in 25 league meetings to go top of the table and send out a clear warning that they are going to be a force this year.
Scorers for Galway: S Walsh 1-8 (1-0 pen, 0-5f), A Varley 0-4, P Conroy 1-1, E Brannigan 0-4, R Steede 0-3, M Daly 0-2, D Comer 0-2, R Finnerty 0-1.
Scorers for Tyrone: D McCurry 0-7 (0-6f), C McShane 0-2, K McGeary 0-1, N Sludden 0-1, M Bradley 0-1 GALWAY: C Gleeson; S Kelly, S Mulkerrin, J Heaney; G O’Donnell, L Silke, C McDaid; R Steede, C D’Arcy; E Brannigan, D Comer, M Daly; R Finnerty, S Walsh, A Varley.
Subs: T Flynn for D’Arcy (27), P Conroy for Finnerty (47), D Conneely for M Daly (59), C Campbell for O’Donnell (59), S A O Ceallaigh (65).
TYRONE: N Morgan; N Kelly, R McNamee, L Rafferty; T McCann, R Brennan, P Harte; C Cavanagh, B Kennedy; K McGeary, N Sludden, D McCurry; F Burns, C McShane, C Meyler.
Subs: P Hampsey for Cavanagh (36), M McKernan for Kelly (36), M Bradley for McShane (39), B McDonnell for Kennedy (54), C Grimes for McCann (62).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).