And so the dust has settled on another hurling championship. After a gap of 29 years, Galway are champions again after getting the better of a spirited Waterford side at Croke Park.

Most observers would agree that the westerners deserved their success after they prevailed by four points. For the fourth match on the spin, Galway did not register a green flag, an amazing stat, particularly given their forward firepower.

Yet, you could say that Micheál Donoghue's men set out at the start of the year to beat their rivals by registering as many white flags as possible. It was a point that Michael Duignan expanded on when he spoke on The Sunday Game's Facebook Live.

"When I saw Galway play Dublin at the start it was as if they were planning for the sweepers. They were playing a short hand-passing game where they worked the ball to the shooters. It's as if they knew there wasn't going to be much room. You also have to admire the rotation of their forwards.  

"At times today there was only one man inside, they were all out looking for the ball, going around on the loop and taking a little pop pass."

Duignan, along with fellow panellist Liam Sheedy, both agreed that Galway were full value in winning a fifth all-Ireland title.

"They had nine different scorers from play and that bit more flair," according to the former Offaly player.

"They looked at different times that they were well in control but you'd have to credit Waterford. They kept right at it but they hit a few bad wides near the end. Austin Gleeson went back to take a long range free and was off target.

"He also hit a line ball wide. Kevin Moran also hit a couple of bad wides. so while Galway looked that bit more comfortable, they could not really shake off Waterford. That bit of nervousness and tension was there.

"Waterford subs did work well, with Tommy Ryan getting a great point. However, Niall Burke and Jason Flynn’s introduction really swung it Galway's way.

Sheedy added: "Galway had a 90% conversion rate in the first 15 minutes. They had 10 shots on goal and had nine points. They played it very smart, got the ball to the shooters and went for that score 40 to 50 yards out.

"If you wheel it into the second half between the 48th and 69th minute they outscored Waterford by 0-09 to 0-04. In that period Waterford missed chances that you need to be converting.

"You always felt that when Galway went four points up, they were going to have enough in reserve to get there. It was the goals that kept Waterford in it.

"In the end the overall power of Galway's forward line was crucial."