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St. Thomas’ return to the Galway Hurling final for the fourth time in five years. In each of their last three times here, they have emerged victorious. In contrast, Turloughmore haven’t won the Championship since 1985. Both sides overcame tough semi-final contests to earn a place in this year’s showdown.
Firstly, Turloughmore had just a goal to spare against Loughrea in their semi-final on the 20th of September. Being well-organised proved to be their biggest asset. Francis Forde and Joe Hession’s side began the game strongly.
After Barry Callanan found the net in the 22nd minute, Turloughmore were 1-05 to 0-05 to the good. But, this was the encouragement Loughrea needed as they went on a terrific spell of their own. Still, Gary Burke netted for Turloughmore deep in injury time to make it 2-06 to 0-11 at the interval.
Then, Turloughmore began the second-half where they left off. Four points in a row gave them a commanding position. But, Loughrea battled until the end. An injury time goal meant it was a nervy finish. However, Turloughmore held on. It finished 2-17 to 1-17 as Turloughmore reach their first Galway SHC final since 1990.
Secondly, St. Thomas’ kept their quest for three-in-a-row alive. In a tightly contested game with Cappataggle, they won by a single point. The games only goal came midway through the first half with the score at three points each. Eanna Burke collected the sliotar out wide before cutting in and finding the bottom right corner. However, Cappataggle retaliated and carried a 0-09 to 1-04 lead in at half-time.
Even when the champions got on top in the second half, Cappataggle didn’t relent. With seven minutes left the difference was one in the champions’ favour. Then Conor Cooney scored twice to open a cushion that Cappataggle just fell short of reeling in. In the end, Cappataggle fell at the semi-final hurdle for the fourth consecutive year. It finished 1-15 to 0-17.
St. Thomas’ experience in the final has them 10/11 favourites with Paddy Power. But, Turloughmore’s drive and form is clearly evident. Therefore, they’re not far behind at 11/10. Meanwhile, a draw is 8/1. Galwaygaa.ie are live streaming the game.
Turloughmore have had an extra week to prepare for the showdown and will be bursting to get going. On the other hand, St. Thomas’ know how to get over the line and this experience could be crucial when the game is in the melting pot.
Paths to the Final
Turloughmore: 1-17 vs 1-15 Liam Mellows, Oranmore Maree 0-11 vs 1-21, 0-16 vs 0-23 Clarinbridge.
St. Thomas’: Castlegar 3-18 vs 2-23, 0-22 vs 1-18 Sarsfields, 4-38 vs 0-15 Portumna.
Turloughmore2-25 vs 2-19 Sarsfields.
St. Thomas’ 1-23 vs 2-16 Killimordaly.
Turloughmore 2-17 vs 1-17 Loughrea.
St. Thomas’ 1-15 vs 0-17 Cappataggle.
Galway SHC Final: Turloughmore vs St. Thomas’, Sunday 4th October, 2pm (Kenny Park).
— St. Thomas' GAA (@StThomassHC) September 27, 2020