Anthony Cunningham created history as he led Roscommon to Connacht Championship glory
As his Roscommon side let rip into Galway in the second half, Cunningham was on his way to a GAA managerial first. The Galwegian has now won provincial titles in both football and hurling, in different provinces.
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship ✅
Connacht Senior Football Championship ✅
All-Ireland under-21 Hurling Championship ✅
Leinster Club Senior Football Championship ✅
Connacht Club Senior Football Championship ✅
Not bad 👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/JfpR9kPzZu
— Will O'Callaghan (@willocallaghan) June 16, 2019
The second-half performance, in particular, will have granted the former Galway manager some satisfaction. Galway led by five points at half time, but the Rossies restricted Galway to just two points in the second half. It took Roscommon just six minutes in the second period to level the game. Whatever the 'Bainisteoir' said at the break worked. What Cunningham has been saying at half time intervals for quite some time has been working, in both codes.
Following a successful time with St Brigid's, that led the Roscommon club to a first-ever Connacht club title in 2006 and just missing out on four county titles in a row. Cunningham moved to Garrycastle in Westmeath in 2009. More success was immediate. Garrycastle won three county titles on the bounce from 2009 to 2011. Cunningham then guided the club to a first-ever Leinster Club title in 2011.
Alongside his Garrycastle role, Cunningham took charge of the Galway under 21 side. In a not unbelievable turn of events, there were trophies won in Galway too albeit not quite immediately. 2010 was the year Galway secured a tenth All-Ireland under 21 title.
In 2011 following the success of the underage sides, Cunningham took over the senior hurling side in Galway.
He started in a controversial manner by dropping a large contingent of the team from his 2012 training squad. Whether that decision undermined his relationship with the playing panel or not is moot, but the players ultimately ousted him. That was in 2016 after guiding the Tribesmen to two All Ireland finals and winning a Leinster title.
The Connacht title was a birthday present for the 54-year-old Galwegian, that sparked not one but two pitch invasions by ecstatic Roscommon fans. The question now for Cunningham is whether he will go back to manage Galway after his time with Roscommon is up?
And will it be the footballers or the hurlers?