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21st Dec 2016

#TheToughest: You’ve voted for your GAA moment of the year and it is special

Conan Doherty


The results are in, the votes have been counted and verified.

Almost 3,500 of you had your say for the GAA moment of the year and almost 1,000 of those went for the same memory.

May 25, 2016.

Mullingar the venue, hurling the sport, fairytales the order of the day.

Kilkenny roll into town and Westmeath are waiting for them, ready for them, about to ambush them. In the grand scheme of the under-21 hurling championship, this was relatively insignificant.

Dublin knocked them out of the Leinster semi-final, Waterford beat Galway in the All-Ireland final but therein lay the beauty.

For 60 minutes in May, the whole world stopped and Cusack Park was the centre of the universe. Westmeath’s under-21 hurlers might never have won any medals at the end of the campaign but they brought the giant that is Kilkenny to its knees and, for one day, made themselves heroes.

And, by God, how they bled for it.

So it wasn’t a massive surprise that the game came out on top in a vote between 10 GAA moments of the year.

Here’s how you voted:

10. Armagh’s sweeper-keeper (1.32% votes)

No love for Paul Courtney.


9. Rob Hennelly getting black-carded (2.75%)

Bad day at the office in the All-Ireland final replay.


8. Sean Cavanagh v Donegal (3.44%)

Won the Ulster final for Tyrone.


7. Tipperary beating Galway (5.77%)

6. Seamus Callanan’s All-Ireland final (7.28%)

5. THAT Diarmuid Connolly pass (7.85%)

4. Paddy McBrearty’s masterclass v Cork (8.83%)

Just the 11 points at Croke Park for Donegal that day.

3. Austin Gleeson v Kilkenny (16.51%)

2. Ballyea beat Thurles Sarsfields (20.87%)

Tony Kelly though.


1. Westmeath skin the Cats (26.08%)

Last-minute drama to go along with it too.

What a year. Bring on 2017.