Former All- Ireland and three-in-a-row Galway Champions Portumna, have been dumped out of the this year’s championship at the quarter-final stage by St. Thomas’s who now go on to face south-Galway rivals Gort in a mouth-watering semi-final.
St. Thomas’s edged out the former champions by a solidarity point to send them through to their first semi-final appearance since 1989.A David Burke goal just before half-time was the difference in the sides as Portumna, seeking their eleventh final appearance in a row, had to do without the services of Joe Canning and Andy Smith due to suspensions.
A low-scoring contest in Ballinasloe was played in strong winds and was devoid of any hurling for the majority of the game. Ollie Canning’s missed opportunity to grab the equaliser in the dying moments was enough to see Thomas’s through on a score-line of 1-10 to 0-12.
The day’s second quarter-final in Ballinasloe Gort edged out local rivals Loughrea by a score line of 2-10 to 1-08. Two second half goals from Ollie Fahy and Keith Killiea proved the difference in the sides as Loughrea could only muster 1-2 in the second-half.
The neighbouring rivals fought a tight tense affair until Fahy’s goal mid-way through the second-half proved to be the catalyst for their victory.
Clarinbridge and Mullagh went head to head at Athenry’s Kenny Park with the reigning county and All-Ireland champions Clarinbridge lucky to scrape a draw.
Mullagh’s Paul Coen scored an injury-time free to earn a draw despite the fact they were on top for most of the game and, will be disappointed not to have won.
With two minutes of injury time played Clarinbrige’s Mark Keirns hit two frees in quick succession to lead by a point and seemingly had the game wrapped up, but up stepped Coen who kept his cool to bring the game to a replay.
The final quarter final saw Craughwell easily overcome the challenge of Carnmore on a score line of 0-19 to -11. For the second time in as many weeks it was a flurry of points in the last ten minutes that settled the game.
The sides were level, nine points apiece with 16 minutes of the second half played, until Craughwell got into their stride and outscored their opponents ten to two, in the last ten minutes, to comfortably cruise into the semi-finals where they will face either Clarinbridge or Mullagh.
St. Thomas v Gort
Craughwell v Clarinbridge/Mullagh