Fearless Moore ready to put it all on the line

Fergal Moore has to rely on what others have told him about the manner of Galway’s exit from the National League at Kilkenny’s hands last month, having departed the fray on a stretcher after an accidental clash of heads with Walter Walsh.

The shuddering collision looked dreadful and Moore spent the next two nights in hospital for observation.

It was a rare occurrence, and the man who made history last year as the first Galway captain to be presented with the Bob O’Keeffe Cup insists that there are many more dangerous sports than hurling.

“People say sport is dangerous (but) I think we talk about jockeys, and other sports are far more dangerous than hurling is,” says Moore.

“It is a contact sport but to the outside eye it looks very dangerous and people swinging hurls but when you are actually playing it, it is not that dangerous at all.

“There will be collisions and accidental collisions and that’s what that was but they are few and far between in comparison to other sports.

“I don’t think any hurler would be worried about that going out onto the pitch.”

Having been knocked unconscious, Moore had to be kept in hospital and endured a mandatory two-week break.

“He (Walter Walsh) is a big unit but if he was 2’2” I probably would have knocked myself out anyway with the way I hit him. I think it was more a clash of heads more than anything.

“I got very good medical care from Dr Dan Murphy and the Tipp doctor, Peter Murchin and I’m very thankful to them and the staff in Thurles. They brought me to Clonmel and the staff were lovely there as well.”

He is back in full swing now, as are Galway following that seven-point semi-final defeat. Anthony Cunningham is on record as saying he is satisfied with how the league went, regardless of how it concluded, and the championship will always be the target.

Ultimately, that is about ending an All-Ireland famine that has lasted 25 years. But there are other goals along the way and retaining the Leinster title is a significant one.

Many may have viewed it as an oddity that Galway were champions of the eastern province last season. Not Moore though.

While he wasn’t dreaming of winning a Leinster championship when growing up in Turloughmore, leading his county to a major victory meant a lot.

“It was an unbelievable feeling and a very proud moment for myself, my family and club. On the day we were such raging underdogs that it added to the emotion of it as well.

“We didn’t get too carried away afterwards and I think our performances after that showed right up to the All-Ireland replay the second day that we didn’t get carried away and stayed working.

“But yeah, that day was an unbelievable feeling and one I would love to repeat.”

Given what they achieved in 2012, there is more expectation this time around and Moore acknowledges the pressure has increased as a result.

“The public in Galway is very expectant normally and then when you go and deliver silverware like we did last year, it adds to the pressure. But the most pressure we will have is to try and put in performances as good as we did last year.

“Last year is over now and it is important to recognise that. It is a clean slate and fresh start and up to us to get the heads down.”


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