When Galway won their second National Hurling League title in 1951, it marked the end of a 20-year period of frustration since the county's initial success in the early Thirties. It was a wonderful occasion for great players like Seanie Duggan, "Inky" Flaherty, John Killeen, Josie Gallagher, Mick Burke and Hubert Gordon who had toiled for years with so little reward.
But one man who had served the maroon and white for years in the company of the above players did not share in that long-sought triumph, although he was on the pitch that day and played a splendid hour's hurling. For when Galway overcame New York at the Polo Grounds on September 30, 1951, Steve Gallagher from Gort was in the New York line-out while his brother was doing duty for Galway. And the Gallaghers left an imprint on that game for Josie was the winners' top scorer with 0-6 while Steve shared the New York top spot with Kilkenny's Terry Leahy. This was the first occasion on which brothers played on opposite sides in a National League final.