St Thomas’ maintained their unbeaten record in Galway finals as they won their fifth title since 2012. On the other hand, Turloughmore were in the final were the first time in thirty years. Furthermore, they showed exactly why they deserved to be in the showdown as they pushed St. Thomas’ to the very end. However, the St. Thomas’ players could call on their experience of being in close finals and managed to find a way to win. They are the first team to get a third Galway SHC in a row since Portumna in 2007, ’08, and ’09.
It was a whirlwind start to the game. Firstly, Sean Linnane opened the scoring for Turloughmore just 18 seconds in. Secondly, the game’s only goal came just a few seconds later. Conor Cooney collected a loose ball 20 metres out and found the net for the champions.
At the other end of the pitch, St. Thomas’ defence stood strong thanks to Fintan Burke’s continued control of the full-back position. This left Turloughmore shooting from distance. However, former Galway captain Fergal Moore showed this was no problem with his two early scores.
Both sides continued to be accurate. In fact, it was point for point for much of the first-half. But, Turloughmore were perhaps the more impressive as they played into a strong wind. With the scores tied 1-6 to 0-9 at the break, Turloughmore would have been very happy with that return.
But, the loss of captain Daithi Burke before the interval was a major blow to Turloughmore. On 39 minutes, St. Thomas’ took the front thanks to scores from Gary Burke and Oisin Flannery. Turloughmore weren’t going away though. Specifically, as the game entered the final 10 minutes, a disputed score by Sean Loftus drew the sides level at 1-11 to 0-14.
Then, Linnane hit his fourth point of the game to put Turloughmore in front. With 6 minutes left, St. Thomas’ remained composed. The return of Burke for Turloughmore couldn’t prevent the champions from scoring three in a row to retain the title.
As a result, it finished 1-14 to 0-15 as St. Thomas’ claimed their third Galway SHC in a row.
@StThomassHC Captain Conor Cooney accepts the Tom Callinan Memorial Cup from @Galway_GAA hurling committee Chairperson Paul Bellew and Mrs. Tess Callinan. County Champions 🏆 #3inarow pic.twitter.com/0D5ZFaxNCG
— Galway GAA (@Galway_GAA) October 4, 2020
St Thomas’: Gerald Kelly; Cian Mahony, Fintan Burke (0-01, 0-01f), Sean Skehill; John Headd, Shane Cooney, David Sherry; David Burke, James Regan (0-01); Evan Duggan, Conor Cooney (1-06, 0-06f), Darragh Burke (0-01); Eanna Burke (0-01), Oisín Flannery (0-03), Bernard Burke.
Subs: Brendan Farrell (0-01) for Duggan (51 mins).
Turloughmore: Mark Fahy; Mikey Morris, Ronan Burke, Mark Murphy; Daniel Loftus, Jamie Holland, Kevin Hussey; Fergal Moore (0-02), Daithí Burke; Conor Walsh (0-04, 0-04f), Sean Loftus (0-01), Matthew Keating (0-02); Barry Callanan (0-01), Gary Burke (0-01), Sean Linnane (0-04).
Subs: Niall Connolly for D Burke (30 mins), Barry McDonagh for Keating (45), Daithí Burke for Callanan (58), Ronan Badger for G Burke (58).